Tribal people from across Odisha and other states today assembled at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district to observe the ninth anniversary of the police firing where 14 tribals were killed on this day in 2006.
Over 2,000 tribal people led by Vistapan Virodhi Jan Manch (VVJM), the outfit spreading anti-displacement movement since the Kalinga Nagar firing, took out a rally from Champakoila, the spot where the firing took place.
The rally also went to Veerbhumi, where the deceased were cremated.
The tribals organised a meeting at Ambagadia in which anti-displacement leaders vowed to fight any policy that exploits locals.
VVJM said it would continue its agitation against displacement due to industrialisation in Kalinga Nagar.
"We have been agitating for the protection of 'jal, jangal and jamin' (water, forest and land) in Kalinga Nagar. We are fighting for the cause of the tribals and our agitation will continue," said VVJM Secretary Rabindra Jarika.
On January 2, 2006, the police had fired on tribals protesting against displacement due to industrialisation in general and levelling the ground for the construction of a boundary wall of a steel company in Kalinga Nagar.
While 12 persons died on the spot, 60 others sustained bullet injuries. Later, two of them succumbed to their injuries. A police constable was also killed in the clash.
On the other hand, pro-factory organisation Bisthapita Parivar Unnayana Parisad, observed the 9th Sradhanjali Diwas for the martyrs of police firing at Gobarghati colony in Kalinga Nagar. They also organised a meeting which eminent social activist and tribal leader Dr Tulsi Munda attended.
The administration has arranged heavy security in the area to maintain law and order.
The rally and meetings passed off peacefully, said Jajpur SP Anup Kumar Sahu.