Himansu Shekhar Rout

Dongria Kondhs, one of the primitive tribes of the country living in the Niyamagiri area of Rayagada district have decided to boycott the upcoming polls demanding basic facilities and withdrawal of alleged false cases. They also fumed over the leasing of mines in Maliguda, Niyamgiri and Mali Parbat.  

As per reports, Dongrias drawn from 38 villages under the Kalyansinghpur Police limits gathered at Parsali and decided to boycott voting. 

They have long been fighting for their rights on ‘Jal(water), jungle and jamin(land), but many of them are being branded as Maoist supporters and are implicated in false cases for which they have to face a lot of problems, the tribals said. 

The tribals demanded scrapping of such false cases.

Expressing his unhappiness over various issues, Krushna Sikaka, a local resident said, "Maoist-related false cases are registered against the Dongrias. Hence, we are being harassed. Such cases should be withdrawn.”

However, no comment from police has been received. 

“Moreover, various mines are leased out in Maliguda, Niyamgiri and Mali Parbat. We demand immediate cancellation of the leases of these mines,” he added.   

The tribals also stated that over the years villagers have been neglected as they are still deprived of basic facilities like safe drinking water, communicable roads, electricity and education. 

They have decided not to take part in the elections until their basic issues are sorted. 

Krushna Sikaka also observed, "Since all such issues are not resolved over the years and our long-pending demands are not addressed, we have decided to refrain from exercising our franchise in the upcoming elections.”