Rehab tips didn't reach tribals | india | Hindustan Times
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Rehab tips didn't reach tribals

The Orissa government on Thursday admitted that the highlights of the revised Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Policy, which was notified in November 2005, were not communicated to the people in four tribal villages of Kalinga Nagar.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 04:01 IST

The Orissa government on Thursday admitted that the highlights of the revised Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Policy, which was notified in November 2005, were not communicated to the people in four tribal villages of Kalinga Nagar.

The four villages — Gobarghati, Chandia, Champakoila and Bamia Gotha — have a majority tribal population. Eight of the 12 tribals killed in police firing on January 2 were natives of these villages.

In May 2005, the four villages were tense due to a violent clash between the tribals and the authorities over the displacement issue. In an attack by the villagers, Jajpur additional district magistrate (ADM) and two police officials were seriously injured.

Revenue minister Manmohan Samal admitted that due to the fear of being attacked again by angry villagers, no district administration official went to the four villages to publicise the revised R&R policy guidelines.

Also, not even one villager attended the camps set up at Kalinga Nagar for fear of being arrested in connection with the attack on the ADM.

"The state government agrees to the fact that the tribals of the four villages were not at all communicated the highlights of the revised R&R policy, which includes additional incentives and attractive compensation packages for the displaced families. This seems to have aggravated the situation in Kalinga Nagar," the BJP minister said.

Following the Kalinga Nagar police firing incident, the state government has sought the help of people's representatives and voluntary organisations to communicate the policy highlights to tribals.

With the formation of a ministerial committee in the aftermath of the tribal killings, the state government is also revising the R&R policy in order to make it more people-friendly.

At its first meeting on Thursday, leader of the ministerial committee and state industries minister Biswabhusan Harichandan said an attempt had been made by the panel to make the revised R&R policy a comprehensive rehabilitation policy.

Experts had studied the R&R policies prescribed by the UNDP and other state governments before finalising this policy.

The minister said the committee would soon convene a meeting of leaders of all parties and state MLAs and MPs to take their opinion.

The committee also plans to visit Kalinga Nagar soon and take the views of displaced tribals on the revised rehabilitation policy.