India: Knocked out by Bauxite
Stuart Freedman writes in Tehelka:
The lives of tribal communities in Orissa’s Niyamgiri have been disrupted by the greed for bauxite.
Kado Dei’s eyes fill with tears as she talks of the day her husband didn’t come home. “My husband had gone to distribute leaflets for a meeting against the company. He had gone to five or six villages. When I put the water to boil for cooking, I got a message that there was a dead body on the road, so we rushed there. It was Sukru, my husband.” Her husband had been run over by a car allegedly driven by employees of Vedanta Alumina Limited (val), a company that her husband, and much of the area, was campaigning against.
“Before, the company people had asked us to vacate the village asking how much money would we take for our land but we said that we would not leave our Mother Earth. The company has come here to kill us — they are not worried about killing people. The driver bribed the police and the matter was dropped.”
“For food, I have to go from one door to another… I don’t have food all the time and I am dependant on the village, they call me and give…”
According to Bratindi Jena, an activist who works with the tribe Kado and her husband belong to, there have been several incidents of violence against those vocal in opposition to “the company”.