New Kerala.com / 17 January 2006
Tribals demand return of land from defence unit
Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of tribals in Orissa’s Koraput district Tuesday staged a protest to demand the return of land they had given to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state-run defence unit.
HAL had established a unit at Sunabeda town in 1963 for manufactuing defense products. At least 468 families from 10 villages were displaced because of the acquisition of 3,764 hectares for the project.
Tribals under the banner of "HAL Displaced Persons" staged a protest in front of HAL’s administrative office at Sunabeda to demand the return of unused barren land acquired by the aviation company to members of displaced families.
The protestors also handed over a letter to officials of the HAL unit. The displaced families alleged they have been paid very minimal amounts as compensation when they gave up their land.
HAL did not set up any colony to resettle the displaced. Most affected people had later taken shelter at three villages. Unless they were given proper compensation, the tribals would not allow any future constructions by HAL, tribal leader Anand Kirsani said.