Odishatv Bureau

Rayagada:  With a number of demands like protection of Niyamgiri hills and shutting down of Vedanta company and the construction of CRPF camp in the area, hundreds of Adivasis took to the streets in a rally organised by Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti and Samajwadi Jan Parishad here on Monday.

As per reports, the rallyists moved around the town and reached Muniguda police station to stage demonstration.

Samajwadi Jan Parishad’s President Kamal Banerjee, farmer leader Lingaraj, Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti's Chairperson Lada Sikaa also joined the rally.

"No one here is a Maoist or Naxalite. Lingaraj, the one leading the protest had earlier announced that we are demonstrating as per law and we have no links with the red rebels," said Banerjee.

"We are protesting against Vedanta Company but the government is ignoring us. We are fighting for our rights but administration is not taking any step to help us rather helping the company. Other than raising our voices through such demonstrations, we have no option so we are continuing the strike," said Sikaa.

The agitators alleged that the Dongria Kondhs are being harassed and arrested by security forces on false accusations of being Maoists.

"Their main demand was the removal of the under-construction CRPF camp at Jhiliguda besides shutting down of Vedanta Company, absence of road connectivity to Niyamgiri and stopping of police combing operations in the area," said Y Jagannath Rao, Additional SP, Rayagada.

To tackle any unpleasant situation during the rally, the district administration had deployed two platoons of police force on the construction site of CRPF camps in Muniguda and Jhiliguda.