The Orissa police detained Mr. David Pugh, a teacher from the US on 12th August along with advocate Miss Protima Das and an anti-displacement activist Mr. Pradeep who accompanied him assisting in translation and showing the area in Kalinganagar and Sukinda on their way back to Bhubaneswar.
They were taken to the Badchan Police station near Chandikhol. Mr. David Pugh was kept for 5 hours in the police custody from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. He was mentally tortured illegally. After that they released him and asked to stay back for interrogation again on 13th August in the afternoon. Miss Pratima and Mr. Pradeep are being kept under detention.
Mr. David Pugh visited Kaliganagar and Sukinda to see Industrialization and its effects on the people and the movement against industrialization and mining. Miss. Protima Das was requested to help Mr. David Pugh as translator and Mr. Pradeep as guide as he belongs to the Sukinda. They all went to Kalinganagar after attending a People’s Tribunal on Displacement, SEZ, and Corporate Violence in Orissa organized in Bhubaneswar by Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, an anti-displacement front of movements from various parts of India including that of Orissa. Activists from all areas in Orissa had come to explain their conditions of destitution and destruction at the People’s Tribunal.
Amin Maharana, a Central Council member of Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, is also suspected to be detained by the police from Bhubaneswar. He is an environmental and anti-displacement activist working in Sukinda area for many years now. He is a cultural performer. He has written many songs about people’s devastation due to displacement and also released an audio CD on the issue.
The Government of Orissa has been unleashing brutal repression on the anti-displacement movement for the last two years. The detentions are part of the larger plans of the government to coerce the people to accept the displacement and give up their lands.
We appeal to all democrats to immediately intervene and put pressure on the Govermenent of Orissa to release Miss. Pratima, Mr. Pradeep, and Mr. Amin Maharan (if he is also arrested) without subjecting them to any kind of harassment.
We demand the Government of Orissa to immediately release Miss Pratima Das, Mr. Pradeep, and Mr. Amin Maharana and stop harassing Mr. David Pugh.
Mr. David Pugh is again taken into custody at 2 pm now and being interrogated at a Bhubaneswar hotel in Bhubaneswar by the police officials.
Chief Secretary & Chief Development Commissioner of Orissa: 0091 -674 – 2536700 Phone,
Chief Secretary & Chief Development Commissioner of Orissa: 0091- 674 – 2536700 (Fax) ,
The Prime Minister’s Office
South Block, Raisina Hill,
Fax: 91-11-23019545 / 91-11-23016857.
SHIVRAJ V. PATIL
23017256 (PH) – 23794842
Rajeev Kumar Mital
PS To HM 105 23092631 300 26109478
OSD To HM 107 23092361
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