बुधवार, 21 फ़रवरी 2018

Special Audit Report on cases of Multiple allotment of land gathering dust in Office of CM since two years.

Special Audit Report on cases of    Multiple allotment of land/house /Flat  gathering dust in Chief Minister Office since two years.

This is sorry state of affairs of Best Administrator Awardee of India

Dear friends
After  expose  by  CAG( Comptroller and Auditor General of India) about huge irregularities  in allotment of land/plot/flat by BDA/CDA/GA/Odisha State Housing Board and followed  by mass demonstration  by opposition political parties  and Civil Society Groups demanding CBI inquiry into it, the Chief Minister constituted  Task Force   headed  by Dr. Taradatt, IAS on 2.8.14 to review all allotments of more than one land/plot/flat to the members of same family and allotment under discretionary quota  to ineligible persons. The Task Force Committee produced the report on 31.10.14.

Following Recommendations of Task Force, the State Govt.  came out with Action Taken Report  which was passed by State Cabinet meeting held on 18.12.14.  On Point No. 7 of ATR , it is mentioned  that “ List of multiple allotments pointed out  by Task Force  has been made on limited information supplied by BDA.CDA and OSHB. Finance Dept. therefore will conduct a special audit of all left out cases of multiple allotments as recommended  by Task Force in para 48(2). Action should be taken by the concerned authorities against such allottees.

Keeping it in view, RTI Application was submitted to the PIO, Dept. of Finance, Govt. of Odisha seeking information about  details of steps taken  by Finance Dept.  for conducting  special audit  of all left out  cases of multiple allotments  as recommended by Task force. Name of the officers involved in conducting special audit.

On 24.1.18, the PIO has  supplied the following information.
1.       As per letter No. 29987/F dtd.21.11.15, special audit on cases of  multiple allotments of land/House/Flat by BDA/CDA/OSHB /GA  Deptt.  In connection with recommendation of Task Force  during period  from 1.1.1995 to 31.3.15  was conducted  by  the audit personnel  of Finance Dept.
2.       The Members of the Audit Team were  as follows. The Audit  was supervised by Sri G.C. Sahoo, consultant.
Name of the organisation
Name of Audit Personnel
BDA, Bhubaneswar
Sri S.K.Ray, AAO, Sri P.K.Chakra, Auditor
Sri B.K.Das, Auditor. Sri A.K.Swain, Auditor
Sri Akshaya Kumar Bhoi, Auditor
CDA, Cuttack
Sri N. Mohapatra, AAO, Sri J.Dhal, Auditor
Sri B.S.Behera, Auditor, Sri D.K.Kahali, Auditor
Sri Brundaban Baisakh, Auditor
Odisha State Housing Board
Sri S.C.Behera, AAO, Smt. S.L.Mishra, Auditor
Sri H.S.Swain, Auditor, Sri Dillip Kumar Das, Auditor
GA Department , Bhubaneswar
Sri B. Samantaray, AAO, Smt. M. Nayak, Auditor
Sri S.K.Pradhan, Auditor
3.       The Audit started  their work from 23.11.15 and to report on 30.11.16. The Audit Teams were given 30 working days to complete the work.
4.       The Audit team produced the report to GA Department  in 2016.
Comments

1.      Though two years passed, the Audit report is gathering dust  in GA Dept. headed  by Chief Minister.
2.      In the meantime,  the present Chief Secretary  has conducted two review meeting  of  progress of ATR in respect of  recommendation of Task Force.
3.      In both the review meetings, the Chief Secretary has not  discussed  about special audit report and nor taken any action.
4.      Inquiry into irregularities in allotment of land/plot is just eye wash exercise  and designed  to cheat the people.
5.      Though 3 years have passed, not a single plot or land has been recovered from the people who have taken multiple plots and illegally land by filling false affidavit or plots under DQ.

Pradip Pradhan
M-9937843482

Date-22.2.18 

रविवार, 18 फ़रवरी 2018

ATR on Kalinga Nagar Police Firing by Govt. of Odisha

Action Taken Report of State Govt. on Report of Commission of Inquiry into Kalinganagar Police Firing in Jajpur district of Odisha

Dear friends
On 14.12.16, RTI Application was submitted to the PIO, Dept. of Home, Govt. of Odisha seeking information about Recommendations of Commissions and Action Taken by the  Govt.. The PIO did not supply any information.  However, after notice issued by Odisha Information Commission on the Second Appeal petition, the PIO has supplied the following information on 12.2.18.

The State Government appointed Shri Justice Pradyumna Kumar Mohanty  as Commission fo Inquiry  on dated 4.9.2009 to enquire into  the incident of police firing  which occurred  at Kalinga Nagar in the district of Jajpur from the stage it was left by late Shri Justice P.K.Patra.

After completion of inquiry, the Commission submitted its report to Government on 3.7.15. After being examined in the Home Department, it was accepted by the Government on 8.6.2016.

Action Taken on the Report-

a.      The Commission in his report made three recommendations to the State Government as follows.
i.                    Formulation of beneficial, comprehensive schemes for giving benefits to the land loosers/displaced persons and while formulating such schemes the Government was to keep in view  the schemes adopted by Tata Steel Limited  in respect of the displaced persons of Kalinga Nagar.
ii.                  Provision of suitable employment to one member of each family of the deceased persons through beneficiary companies set us in the Kalinga Nagar Integrated Industrial complex.
iii.                Payment of Additional ex gratia to the persons who had been injured  during the police firing.

b.      Upon examination , it  was found that  the Odisha Resettlement  and Rehabilitation policy  of the Revenue  and Disaster Management  Department  in its amended  form  was progressive  and similar to the scheme  adopted  by Tata Steel Limited  in respect of  the displaced persons  of Kalinga Nagar. Hence , the recommendation of the Commission in this respect  has been complied.

c.       It was also found that at least one member each from the families of the persons deceased on account of the police firing incident  had been offered employment by the beneficiary companies in the Kalinga Nagar integrated Industrial Complex. . Hence, the recommendation of the commission in this respect has also been complied.

d.      On request of the Home Department, Government in the General Administration  Department  have released a sum of Rs. 16,50,000.00 in favour of the Collector, Jajpur for payment of additional /differential ex gratia to the injured persons.

Pradip Pradhan
M-9937843482

Date- 18.2.18 

सोमवार, 12 फ़रवरी 2018

Updating Civil Society Intervention Kunduli Rape victim in Odisha

Updating Civil Society Intervention to fight for justice for Kunduli Rape victim in Odisha

On 10.10.17, after allegation of a dalit 14-year old girl being raped by Cobra Para-military force in Musaguda village area of Koraput districts, the state witnessed series of rally, dharana, demonstration by opposition political parties and social organisations visiting Koraput to meet the victim to ascertain the fact about allegation. Few Human Rights Activists also conducted fact-finding about it and filed complaint to Odisha Human Rights Commission for justice to the victim. On the other hand, it was also observed  that  the Investigating officers  carrying out inquiry into allegation  maintained ominous silence for few  days  trying hard to exert pressure on Victim  to withdraw the statement  and  at last declared  that the girl was not raped.  After denial of victim’s allegation by ADG, HRPC, the   Activists and Opposition political parties  reacted strongly and demanded CBI inquiry into it.

When this unfortunate incident happened,  the members of Civil Society Groups  and RTI Activists  were engaged  in organising National Convention on  RTI in Bhubaneswar  held from 14th to 16th Oct.17. After having noticed that the State Govt. dillydallying  this issue and diluting the investigation,  the Civil Society Groups, though late  called  a  State-level Consultation meeting  on 4.11.17  to  discussion  the details of the issues  and  chalk out further  course of action. After discussion, it was  decided to  organise protest  in all district headquarters  and  file  complaint case to Commissions.

On 5.11.17,  series of  complaint cases  were  filed  to National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, National Commission for Women and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi.

   On 9.11.17,  the Civil Society Groups   organised  Press meet  and  condemned police inaction and conspiracy of State Govt. officials to dilute the investigation in alleged Rape Case and demanded CBI inquiry.    

On 14.11.17, the Human Rights Activists and RTI Activists under banner of Civil Society organised  Black Day in 15 district head quarters involving concerened citizens, Activists and academicians condemning failure of police to arrest the  culprits and demanded CBI inquiry into it and submitted memorandum  addressed to Governor  through  Collectors of the districts.  

On 24.11.17, having heard about Kunduli Rape victim being admitted in S.C.B. College and Hospital, Cuttack,  the members of Civil Society Groups had visited  Hospital to meet  her. The Authority did not allow the team to meet her. During that time, Damei Chhati , mother of Victim and other family members reached  in the Hospital and demanded to meet  their daughter. When  it was found that  the victim is physically fit and interested to go back home,  the family members demanded to release her.   As the Hospital authority refused  to release  the victim,  the members of Civil Society Groups  and family members  sat on Dharana in front of  Medicine Ward   and continued  for three demands  for her release, as  there was no treatment of her  by the Doctors.  However, the victim goes released on 27.11.18.

On 4.12.17,  a 6-member Fact-finding Team of Civil Society Group had visited Koraput and personally interviewed with Kunduli Rape victim   to understand the genuineness of allegation of rape  by her. The team documented her allegation about  police torture, harassment and misbehaviour by District Child Protection Officer, Koraput during her treatment  and pressure mounted on her to withdraw her allegation .  

On 29.12.17,  A state-level Public Hearing on  Status of Alleged Rape cases and Situation of Rape Victims in Odisha” was organised in Bhubaneswar  presided over by  eminent personalities of the State Justice  Hrudaya Ballav Das, retired CBI Judge, Sri Prasanna Mishra, retired IAS, Sri Rabi Das, eminent journalist and Smt. Aparna Nayak, woman Activist as Jury member with participation of  200 Activists.   Kunduli Rape Victim along with other seven Rape victims  presented their story , torture  by the police, suffering  and straggle for justice.   

 Being seriously perturbed over suicidal death of  victim girl on 22.1.18,  the  Civil Society  Groups  reacted strongly  accusing the Govt. responsible for her death  and  organised  protest dharana  at Lower PMG , Bhubaneswar  on 23.1.18  demanding  CBI inquiry  into it.  A large number of  common people  joined with us and expressed solidarity  in our fight  for  giving justice to her.

On 25.1.18,  the  Civil Society organisations  conducted  Dharana  and Rally  at disctrict  headquarters  like Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Rayagada , Mayurbhanj demanding CBI inquiry  into it.

On 30.1.18, one-day hunger strike was observed in front of statue of Mahatma Gandhi  at Gandhi Park, Bhubaneswar. More than 50 Activists  and concerned citizens observed fastinf for the whole day  resolving to fight for justice.

On 2.2.18,  a 12-member  Civil Society Groups  had  visited  Musaguda  to attend 11th day ritual of  death of Kunduli Rape Victim and interacted  with bereaved family members giving them moral boost  to fight for justice.

On 3.2.18, Mahadeepa was ignited in front of Jagannath Temple, Puri   praying  to destroy the family who conspired to suppress the investigation and denied justice to the victim.

On 4.2.18, the Report of Public Hearing documented story  of  7 rape victims  and recommendation of Jury  was  presented in email   to Chief Minister, Odisha, Director General of Police,  Odisha  seeking an inquiry into  these cases.

On 7.2.18, a Two-member Team Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi  and Srikant Pakal met Inquiry team of NHRC at Koraput  and submitted memorandum  appraising the team   about conspiracy  and failure of State police  to conduct proper investigation.

On  8.2.18,  the   emergency meeting of Civil Society Groups  was  called to chalk out quick action plan  to fight for justice  for the  victim. It was resolved to organise  Indefinite Hunger strike  demanding Supreme Court-monitored  CBI/SIT inquiry  into Kunduli rape case.

On 12.2.18 onwards,  the  Civil Society Groups have started  indefinite hunger strike  at Lower PMG, Bhubaneswar  demanding Supreme Court-monitored  CBI/SIT inquiry  into Kunduli rape case and legal action against  the investigating officers  involved in suppressing  investigation into rape cases  and mysterious death of  kasturi Samantaray of Kendrapara district, Barsha Patra of jajpur district.  Smt. Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kalanadi Mallik, Dalit Activist and Pratap Sahu  have sat on hunger strike for indefinite period.

Report Prepared by Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482





शुक्रवार, 9 फ़रवरी 2018

Indefinite Hunger strike by Civil Society on Kunduli Rape Issue in Odisha

Open Invitation to join in
Indefinite Hunger Strike  by Civil Society Groups  demanding Supreme Court-monitored  CBI Inquiry into Kunduli Rape Case  and arrest of  all investigating officers  involved in suppressing and derailing investigation into Kunduli case and mysterious death of  Rape victim Kasturi Samantary of Kendrapara  and Varsha Patra of Sukinda of Jajpur district.

Dear friends
The members and Activists of different Social Organisations having allegiance to Civil Society Network  will sit in Hunger strike for indefinite period demanding Supreme Court-monitored CBI Inquiry into Kunduli Rape Case  and arrest of  all investigating officers  involved in suppressing and derailing investigation into Kunduli case and mysterious death of  Rape victim Kasturi Samantary of Kendrapara  and Varsha Patra of Sukinda of Jajpur district and  Justice for other rape victims.

After allegation of Kunduli Rape Victim that she was raped by Cobra Paramilitary force, the Koraput police registered FIR and started investigation. After 27 days of investigation, the Additional Director General of Police of Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of State Govt. made a public statement that the girl had not been raped and she was giving false allegation against the police.  In view of huge public reaction and protest of opposition political parties, Sri Nabin Patnaik, Chief Minister ordered for Crime Branch Inquiry and declared a Judicial Commission to be constituted to probe the case.

 Though 3 months have passed, the people of Odisha are still yet to see the copy of     investigation Report on the basis of which ADG, HRPC said that there was no rape and status of Crime Branch Inquiry. Judicial inquiry is yet to be started.

After suicidal death of  Kunduli rape victim, the State Govt. has again declared to constitute SIT ( Special Investigation Team) for investigation to be monitored  by High Court. The order of number of inquiries by Chief Minister has cast doubt in the mind of the people   about intention of the Govt. to provide justice to rape victim.  The opposition political parties and various organisations have demanded CBI inquiry into it.

On the other hand , the mysterious death of  Kasturi Samantaray, a 10th class student of Kendrapara district  and Barsha Patra , a college student of Sukinda  Block of Jajpur district  has not been  properly  enquired  by the police alleged  by the parents. Rather the police has tried to cover it up under the influence of powerful people.

In view of failure of State machinery to provide justice to rape victims,  the Civil Society Groups  will sit in indefinite hunger strike  demanding  arrest of all investigating officers  who have derailed and suppressed the investigation and Supreme Court-monitored CBI inquiry into Rape cases in the state.

We appeal all the people to join with us  to  fight for justice of Rape victims  in the state.

Appeal by

Pradip Pradhan
M- 9937843482

On behalf of Civil Society Groups, Odisha 

रविवार, 4 फ़रवरी 2018

Number of Students reading in KISS Tribal School is still in Mystery

Number of Students reading in KISS Tribal School is still in Mystery - Why

Dear friends

Last Year in a public meeting, Achyut Samant claimed that KISS Tribal school had housed 30,000 tribal children and provided free education, food and shelter. Accordingly, RTI Application was filed to the PIO, office of KISS Tribal school to get the information about number of children reading in different classes of the school. The Principal denied to provide the information as the school does not come under purview of RTI Act.

Then, RTI Application was filed to the PIO,  Dept. of School and Mass Education, Govt. of Odisha seeking information about  number of children reading in KISS Tribal school. The Dept. does not have the information. However,  another  RTI Application  was filed to the PIO, Dept. of School and Mass Education, Govt. of Odisha  seeking information about details of NOC granted to KISS tribal School  as per Right to Education Act,2009. On 6.7.17, the PIO, office of Block Education Officer, Bhubaneswar provided the information along with two Field verification Report which is required prior to granting NOC to any institution.  It was found that   the Field verification Report of 2016-17   shows that KISS school has 14,804 i.e., 8956 from (from Class-1 to Class-V), 5849 from (Class-6 to Class-8).

Similarly, another RTI Application was filed to the PIO, office of Board of Secondary Education, Cuttack about number of the children of KISS Tribal School appearing High School examination from 2010 to 2017. On 25.1.18, the PIO has supplied the following information.

Year
Total no. of Students appeared
No. of Students passed
2010
177
159
2011
482
398
2012
562
487
2013
632
485
2014
611
518
2015
600
564
2016
1173
987
2017
2046
1816
If these figures of BEO, Bhubaneswar and BSE, Cuttack is taken into account, the maximum strength of the students of KISS Tribal school  will be  16,000 only.

Can anybody counter this  figure?

Pradip Pradhan
M-9937843482
Date- 4.2.18


शनिवार, 3 फ़रवरी 2018

Non-functioning of web-portal of Odisha Govt. for submission of RTI application / Appeal online.

Non-functioning of web-portal of Odisha Government for submission of   RTI application / Appeal online.
2.     Even if it functions, per chance, printed copy of submitted application/ appeal alongwith voter ID is called for, which defeats very purpose of online submission.
Govt. of Odisha Web-Portal - http://rtiodisha.in/
This is the web-portal of Government of Odisha. There is no provision to ‘log-in’ nor is it user-specific.  In strict sense, this is not a web portal.
The portal is not functioning even after 12 years of implementation of The RTI Act, 2005.  The mal-functioning area is uploading of the RTI Application File.   One cannot proceed further if he/she fails to upload the RTI application.  If by chance the file could be uploaded, payment gateway problem will obstruct payment of application fee. 
I failed to submit My RTI application online in most of my attempts, excepting for a couple of times only.  But the terms and conditions, as below, dissuaded me to use the portal. 
TERMS & CONDITIONS DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF ONLINE SUBMISSION OF RTI REQUEST
As per the terms and conditions, Applicant has to print out and submit the hard copy of the same application with full signature manually or by post. After acceptance of the hard copy of RTI application by the PIO, the time-frame prescribed under the Act shall be applicable.” Therefore the entire exercise of submission of RTI Application is waste of time.
Further, if somebody, by chance (which is very rare), can submit application and pay application fee of Rs.10/- online, then he/she will come across the following NOTE which remind him/her of the above condition. 
“Please print out the filled up application and make payment (if not Made) and attach e-payment evidence of original copy of manual payment having ink signature at the print out copy and submit to your concerned Public Authority manually (physically or by post). After acceptance of the hard copy of RTI application & all your documents by the PIO, the time-frame prescribed under the Act shall be applicable.” 
To fulfill the said condition the applicant has to bear the cost  for (1) printing  (2) postage, (3) Conveyance expenses for going to a cyber café for printing (4) Conveyance expenses for going to post office or to the office of the Public Authority.  In addition the efforts for submission of hard copy of the RTI request are unnecessary botheration. 
It is also  stipulated in the terms and conditions: “Both General/BPL categories applicant should submit photo Copy of ID proof”. This is against Section 6(2) of RTI Act,2005. This proves the extent of harassment to public.  
Publicity of tall claims of Government on RTI portal

Government of Odisha claim in the web-page: “This option helps a citizen to submit his/her e-Request for information (RTI Application Form A) through online in a single net work system (rtiodisha.in), which is treated citizen centric”
Of late in daily news paper “Prameya” there are news items on 23-1-2018 and 31-1-2018 about work-shop on Right to Information held at Jatni and Balipatna Block Offices respectively of Khordha districts.  The clippings of the news are attached.  These workshops were organized by the District Information & PR Officer.  The main theme highlighted in the news items is about use of the web-portal for online submission of RTI Application.  The news is silent about non-functioning of the portal and unnecessary stipulation for submission of hard copy again. It is not clear from the news if the web portal  was demonstrated in the work-shop by means of computer with internet facility and explained step by step about entering the necessary information, uploading of RTI Application and online payment of money.  Simple direction to the audience to take advantage of RTI portal and making a news on this is meaningless.  The esteemed “Prameya” news paper should elaborate on the mal-functioning of the web-portal and need for removing the stipulation for  submission of hard copy after online submission of RTI application. 
Some of the activists have been taking up the matter with I & PR Department and with the State Information Commission for making the portal functional and not to ask for re-submission of hard copy of the same RTI application.  I have also taken up the matter several times and lodged grievances.  In one of the letters vide No.IMU (RTI) 102/17 – 7007 dated  8-8-2017,  in response to my e-abhijog CMOFF/E/2017/01647 dated 26-6-2017 (copy attached)    I was informed:
“Odisha is one of the front ranking states in the Country for introducing IT Intervention in the front of RTI.  The Government carries a track record of winning National e-Governance award in this regard.  The process of Online RTI Application has been conceptualized taking into the conditions of the state into account.  However we sincerely appreciate your point of view as quite critical to move further in this regard. Once again congratulating you for this healthy feedback, the Department is quite open to receive your suggestions time and again to improve our functioning in a more effective manner.”
I cannot rejoice with such compliments, unless and until the web-portal functions properly and there should not be any condition to submit hard copy of already submitted request. 
GOVERNMENT OF ODISHA WEB-PORTAL IS DEFAUNCT WHEREAS THAT OF GOVERNMENT OF INDIA https://rtionline.gov.in/ FUNCTIONS VERY WELL
Those who are using Government of India portal must have experienced the ease of submission of request and 1st appeal.  While for the request a fee of Rs.10/- is payable online, there is no fee for 1st or second appeal.  There is no need to attach voter ID or any other ID.  There is no need to send hard copy of the submitted request or appeal.  The portal keeps a record of all applications, appeals only for viewing and use of the applicant/appellant. 
The authorities of Government of Odisha are neglecting the Right to Information.  No priority is attached to such citizen centric need.  While a lot of money is spent on publicity, there is not a single hoarding about RTI nor there is  a single quarter-page publicity on  guidance to public about their Right.  Till date the State Government of Odisha ignore the Peoples Right to Information.
OTHER STATE ACTIVISTS, WHO ARE READING THIS, MAY ENLIGHTEN ABOUT THE   FUNCTIONING OF THE RTI WEB-PORTL OF THEIR STATE. 
DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT OF THE WEB-PORTAL
The job of online filing of RTI applications and First Appeals and keeping track of the same was entrusted to M/s Luminous Infoways Pvt. Ltd. way back in 2009 vide agreement/MOU dated 4-5-2009 signed by Director of I & PR Department with the Company authority for a validity period of 3 years.  The conditions of MOU included: “if the agency fails to deliver the service committed within the reasonable stipulated time assigned by the Client (i.e. the Government) penalty would be levied upto 25% of Annual Project Cost alongwith the cancellation of the MOU.” Neither the web-portal could be successfully developed nor any penalty was levied nor was any official made accountable. The MOU was also not cancelled. On the contrary another MOU was signed on 29-6-2015 between the I & pr Department and the Company basing on the e-tendering process of August 2012 ( EOI published  on 2-8-2012 and bids opened on 28-8-12)  when M/s Luminous Infoway Pvt. Ltd. could be the successful bidder.  The work order No.10073 dated 14-9-2012 was placed with the Company after 2 years from the date of opening of bids. 

In the office notes, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary has mentioned on 11-12-14           : “The Government may kindly approve the proposal to implement ‘online monitoring of RTI application’ with effect from 1st January 2015”.  Concurrences of the Chief Secretary, Minister, I & PR Department and Hon’ble Chief Minister have been obtained to the noting. 

Odisha Information Commission vide their letter No.8356/OIC dated 17-11-2015 – PIO-323/15, have informed me that the RTI portal was not fully functional.  They had sent my RTI application dated 29-10-15 to I & PR Deptt with a copy to me under Memo No.8160/OIC dated 6-11-15.  Till date I do not appear to have received any reply from them. I have lodged complaint with the Commission.   
The FIGHT of the  common people  for their R I G H T never ends. 
Bhawani Sankar Nanda    

मंगलवार, 30 जनवरी 2018

No Response by State Govt to the Notice issued by NHRC on Farmers’ Suicide Case

No Response by State Govt to the Notice issued by NHRC on Farmers’ Suicide Case filed  by Pradip Pradhan two years ago

Dear friends
Though two years passed, Govt. of Odisha has not responded to the notice of National Human Rights Commission on Complaint relating to cases of   Farmers’ suicide  despite several reminders . On 22.1.18, the NHRC has issued  final reminder to Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha  to reply  about  complaint  filed  by Pradip Pradhan, Advisor to National Human Rights Commission  about allegation of  suicide of 30 debt-ridden  farmers  in 12 districts of Odisha.

 On 1.1.16., Sri Pradip Pradhan, Human Rights Activist had filed a complaint in NHRC alleging large –scale farmers’ suicide in Odisha in 2015. During this year, around 200 farmers committed suicide due to crop loss and debt burden.  In the event of denial of allegation of farmers’ suicide due to debt burden by the State administration,   the Civil Society Groups of Odisha constituted   Fact-finding team to make visits to ascertain the facts about the genuineness of the alleged suicides, the reasons behind it and the socio-economic condition of the family of the famers who committed suicide vis-a-vis the support, if any provided by the Govt. etc.  A five number of Team was constituted which covered 13 districts and personally met   30 famers’ suicide families from 25th Nov. to 10th Dec. 15.  The Team experienced precarious condition of the family, mental trauma suffered by the family members, failure of crop due to less rainfall, tension to repay the loan borrowed from private money lenders at exorbitant price ( 10% per month) etc. All the families   vociferously said crop failure and loan burden as the major reason for suicidal death of the farmers.  The details of the cases documented by the Team and presented in a State-level Public Hearing organised  in Bhubaneswar on 13.12.15.

Acting on complaint, on 15.2.16 while registering the case No.766/18/0/2016, NHRC called for report from the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha within 4 weeks. In response,  the Joint Secretary, Home Department   forwarded the letter  dt. 28.7.16 addressed to the Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha to send the requisite report directly to the Commission.  Finding no response, the Commission on  dated 13.12.17, issued another reminder to the Chief Secretary  to  submit the action taken report  latest by 31.1.2017.  Finding no response from the State Govt. within one year,  NHRC has issued  final reminder  to  State Government on 22.1.18  to produce the ATR   within four weeks failing which the Commission shall be constrained to invoke coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1991.


It shows how the State Govt. is  callous   to address the problem of farmers and trying to cover up  the  reasons behind  the farmers ‘ suicide in Odisha

Pradip Pradhan
Complainant and Advisor to NHRC , New Delhi

Date-29.1.18