Government More Interested in Giving Land to the Mining Companies

16 February 2012, Chaibasa

On 16 February the first halt of Samvad Yatra was the KRTC center at Chaibasa village. The director of KRTC Shri Clement Kujur said that the organization was working for the educational advancement of local students. He said that most of the land problems in the region have resulted from non-recognition of the traditional land laws and systems. For example the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act recognizing the khudkati rayatwadi system was ready in 1904 but its implementation began four years later in 1908 when mining and other industries had already begun their extraction processes in Nobamundi and other places. In later years these areas became the mining sites for many minerals such as iron ore, diamond, gold, uranium, copper and mangenise. These projects were given permission in violation of the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act. He asked aloud as to why the government was not taking any action against the companies even after this law was upheld by the High Court in a judgment explicitly directing the government to implement the provisions of Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act. Shri Veer Singh Shimpu of ‘Johar Sanghatan’ said that in the Kolahan region companies such as the Tatas, Essar and ACC cement have been prevented from setting up their industries through empowered people’s movements but since 2005 the state government and Government of India has been colluding to deploy large battalions of armed forces in many areas including Sarang. In all reality this is nothing but an attempt to repress the people’s movements. The government is also initiating investigations against many people’s organisations and implicating there functionaries in false cases. Shri Uday Barla of ‘Khudkati Bhumi Rayat Sangh’ said that the government has given permission for mining in the farming land of village Abru against the wishes and resolution passed by the Gram Sabha. When the villagers filed a case against the government many people were arrested and implicated in false cases.

Shri Manjhi Tumijh of ‘Yuvak Sangh’ said that the government is not only acquiring land for mining companies but also for the security forces. Senior Social Worker Shri Hema Ekka said that today the population of the tribals is mere 26% of the total because their land and forests are being transferred into the hands of nono-tribals thus limiting and reducing their opportunities for agriculture and employment. She said that the objective of all tribal and people’s movements in the state is to force the government into implementing such progressive and historical acts as the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenency Act. Shri Clement Kujur of KRDC concluded the meeting by calling on all the movements to unite against the injustice of the government and give full support to Jansatyagrah thus ensuring that a powerful challenge is given to those who continue to deny the tribal people their rights and entitlements.

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