Odisha Prafulla Samantara Kidnapped and Released

BHUBANESWAR: Eminent social and environmental activist Prafulla Samantara who on Tuesday morning went missing from his hotel room in Odisha’s Rayagada and was found at his home in his hometown Berhampur later in the evening, his family sources informed on Wednesday.

As per reports, Samantara was in Rayagada to attend a press meet organised by Youth Congress. But before the press meet commenced, he went missing from the hotel he was staying in.

Sources said some unidentified persons came to the hotel room and took him away with them forcibly.

Speaking about Samantara, State Coordinator of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Narendra Mohanty said, "We suspect the police had abducted him to suppress the voice he raised against illegal usurping of tribal and forest land. This is a tactic the Odisha government has devised to crush the uprising against it."

V Srinivas, the owner of the hotel from where Samantara went missing said, "Though I was not in the hotel when he went missing, what I heard, the police took him away."

However, Samantara was later found at his home in Berhampur.

Asked about his whereabouts, he said some miscreants kidnapped him from the hotel in Rayagada and dropped him in Berhampur.

After he was found in Berhampur, Samantara said, "Just 20 minutes before the press conference, three unidentified persons came inside my room and took away my mobile phone. They called a vehicle, gagged me and tied my hands after I screamed for help. Then they drove me for one and a half hours before dropping me here in Berhampur."

"Initially I suspected that some goons of the mining company might be behind my abduction, but now I suspect that the police abducted me," he alleged.

Samantara has been a spokesperson for the Dangaria Kandha indigenous people, in their protest against plans for bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hill range.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story