“Unity” is the Answer to the Violations of Fundamental Rights

5 March 2012, Ranchi

On 5 March the first halt of the journey was at village Fatehpur Aamkhori in Pakund district where a public meeting had been organised by ‘Sajha Manch’ and ‘Jharkhand Vichar Parishad’. Addressing the meeting leader of Ambadiha village Shri Lakhan Kishuk said that large-scale coal mining was taking place in the region in violation of the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act. For the last six years mining has been done in almost 2000 acres of land by the N.N. Company. Unabated coal mining and its transportation is responsible for immense pollution in the region and this is also affecting agriculture leading to decreased yields per acre. Smt Emily Hadsa of village Maheshpur said that 32 villages have been marked for coal mining in the region and in Anjari, Siprihari and Kadaldih villages mining has been going on for the past 10 years. In 1997 land acquisition was started in violation of the resolutions passed by the traditional Panchayats and in 2002 mining was started by N.N. Company. Public Hearings were not held for any of the projects instead criminal charges were filed against the villagers that protested against the mining projects. In this region coal is being transported by thousands of dumpers everyday leading to pollution that is affecting both agriculture and civil transportation. In the region, he said, not only has the Santhal Pargana Kastkari law been violated but the claims under Forest Rights Act are also not being accepted. Shri Pradeep of ‘Sajha Manch’ said that 80 percent of the people in the region suffer from nay illnesses as result of the pollution since hundreds of industrial units have been given permission to operate without any environmental assessment. Social organisations that lodge complaints against the increasing pollution are harassed by middlemen. Shri Ravinath Kudu of ‘Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Parishad’ said that in reality as per the Santhal Pargana Kastkari law the resolutions passed by the traditional panchayats should be accepted by the administration but currently the local administration is not acting on the objections made by these traditional panchayats. He said that the traditional panchayats had raised objections at the time of construction of the Sahabganj-Pakud-Dumka road but their objections were set aside by the local administration. Shri Roshan Soren of Fatehpur said that through the Jansatyagrah pressure should be mounted on the administration to strictly implement the Chotanagpur Kastkari Law. The last halt of the journey was at village Pakudia where a public meeting had been organised by the ‘Gram Jyoti Sansthan’. Addressing the meeting Smt Subhashini Soren of ‘Jharkhand Vikas Parishad’ said
that greatest affect of the mining industry has been on the health and security of the women in the region.
Road accidents in the entire mining region are a common cause for loss of life and property. She said that this region of Santhal Pargana was known for its forest wealth and advanced agriculture but more than 50% of the forests have been destroyed for mining, industry and road projects. Phulsuri Soren of village Pakudia said that the tribals would unite to fight in the leadership of 5 village leaders otherwise the government will succeed in bringing amendments to the the Santhal Pargana Kastkari Act just as they have succeeded in the case of Chotanagpur Kastkari Act. Shri Aash Mohammed of village Phuljhingri said that 57% families in his village are landless and they has filed for claims under the Forest Rights Act but not a single claim has been accepted by the administration. He announced that the village would contribute one quintal of rice to the Jansatyagrah Grain Bank. Similarly Shri Dashrath of village Mohanpur announced that his village would also contribute one quintal rice for the Jansatyagrah Grain Bank. Shri Satish of ‘Jharkhand Vikas Parishad’ said that in 1933 Pakud district had 68% forest cover but now it has reduced to mere 8%. He said that in the Gumani, Basmoi and Mayurakshi river valley there are more than 11,85,000 tribals and of these more than 20% are landless. If the government promotes water harvesting in the area more than 1,86,000 acres of land can be irrigated for distribution among the landless families. Senior Social Activist Shri Rambahadur said that the traditional panchayats in the region should be strengthened and the focus should be on village centered development. Ex-MLA Shri Kalidas Murmu said that the decreasing sensitivity of state governments towards the rights of the tribal communities is an issue for serious concern. If such neglect and disregard continues unabated it is certain
that all possibilities of peace and development in the Santhal Pargana region will slowly come to an end. He expressed his complete faith in the power of the Jansatyagrah to compel the Government of India to
bow before the demands of the deprived and marginalized communities.
During the Jansatyagrah Samvad Yatra in JHARKHAND
Distance of 3247 k.m. across 19 districts was covered in 21 days.
140 people’s organizations announced their intention to participate in Jansatyagrah 2012.
2056 people signed on the appeal to the Prime Minister for a National Land Reform Law.
5357 people were directly reached through the 62 programmes organized during the Jansatyagrah Samvad Yatra.
The local villages contributed Rs 26570.00 and 3 quintals of grain towards the Jansatyagrah 2012 preparations.

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