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Maha: Tribals Launch Indefinite Protest to Demand Cancellation of Mining Lease in Gadchiroli

PTI

Last Updated: October 27, 2021, 18:18 IST

Nagpur

They also say that they were not taken into confidence before the mining lease was issued. (PTI File)

They also say that they were not taken into confidence before the mining lease was issued. (PTI File)

The local tribals launched the protest on October 25 under the aegis of 'Surjagarh Paramparik Ilaka Gotul Samiti' against the iron ore mining project at Surjagarh.

Tribals in Etapalli taluka of Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district have begun an indefinite sit-in protest seeking cancellation of an iron ore mining project. The local tribals launched the protest on October 25 under the aegis of 'Surjagarh Paramparik Ilaka Gotul Samiti' against the iron ore mining project at Surjagarh, demanding cancellation of lease granted to a private company. Talking to PTI over phone, Ramdas Jarate, local leader and state committee member of Shetkari Kamgar Paksh, said they have written to the Centre and the state government several times over the years raising objection over the mining activities in Gadchiroli. The protesters alleged that the lease given to Surjagarh mining project is in violation of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA Act), 1996 and the Forest Rights Act. They also say that they were not taken into confidence before the mining lease was issued. “We want the agreements of Surjagarh and 20 other mining leases in Gadchiroli be cancelled," he said.

Namdeo Usendi, former Congress MLA from Gadchiroli who is supporting the agitation, said the government cannot give lease without the approval of the gram sabha.

Noted Gandhian activist and founder of Ekta Parishad, Rajagopal P V, visited the agitation of the tribals on the first day. Talking to PTI, he said, “There is an increasing level of conflict in tribal areas, which can be exploited by other people. It is our responsibility to understand this conflict, we should intervene to reduce it…"

“Employment is one thing, but protecting their lives, culture and resources is equally important. And that will happen only when laws are respected by the government as well as by the people," Rajagopal said.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
first published:October 27, 2021, 18:18 IST
last updated:October 27, 2021, 18:18 IST
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