On the 29th of November, 2009, Tapan Mishra, a democratic political activist who was about to board his train to Narayanpatna from Parvatipuram railway station was arrested by police in civilian uniform. Throughout his life of 42 years Tapan Mishra has been linked to several left groups and has been part of popular dissent movements. He was once a member of AIDSO (All India Democratic Students Organisation), the student wing of the SUCI and the President of the Ravenshaw College Students’ Union. Later he joined the CPI(ML)(Liberation) and was an active participant in the then agrarian struggles and struggles of forest dwellers. Tapan Mishra was the councilor of Athamalic NAC and also contested the last Assembly elections from Athamalic: the later two facts show that he had no strategic ideological compatibility with the CPI(Maoist).
Before leaving for Parvatipuram, he met several press people in Bhubaneshwar and had assured them that he would provide reliable information on what was going on in Narayanpatna. It is also worth noting that Tapan Mishra was a potential leader of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh of Narayanpatna having experience in agrarian and forest dwellers movements. He is also a sympathizer of the Narayanpatna movement and is closely associated with its leadership.
Today, most of the leadership of the Narayanpatna movement is under arrest or is underground. This has been due to the brutal repressive measures that the state government has taken in the region using the police. Nachika Linga, leader of the CMAS, is underground. The police have destroyed his house. Two leaders have earlier been killed in police firing. Anyone like Tapan Mishra who knows the significance of the Narayanpatna movement would be a spontaneous positive contribution to the movement: this, probably, the State knew better than anyone. Tapan has been projected by the police as a ‘hardcore Maoist’ who is in charge of training cadres in military offensive. His arrest has already been linked to the police’s finding of ammunition elsewhere. The police in Narayanpatna are part of the larger nexus of landlords and liquor mafia – it is evident from the way the truth has been distorted by them in general and in Tapan’s case in particular. But what about the government of Orissa (or to be more appropriate the whole bourgeois Assembly as there has been no voice from the opposition also)? The government of Orissa is part of a larger nexus the scope of whose explication is beyond the limitations of this report. Suffice to say that the rulers of Orissa are one of the most authoritarian anti-people lot that gives no space to democratic voice which it apprehends shall, in the long run, bring an end to the brutalities of its nexus. This is precisely the reason why Tapan is being silenced.