MAC: Mines and Communities

India: Police Repression in Hazaribagh

Published by MAC on 2013-05-21
Source: Statement (2013-05-14)

Police Repression in Hazaribagh

False Cases Against the protesters

JMACC (Jharkhand Mines Area Co-ordination Committee)

14 May 2013

Johar, Jai Bhim and Zindabad!

We, the people, the organizers and representatives of Karnpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, would like to bring to your notice the recent upsurge of police and state repression in Jharkhand - a battle against land displacement, that is all to familiar to Koodankulam, Nandigram, Kalinganagar, the Anti-POSCO movement, Niyamgiri, Nagri and countless more.

On April 29, 2013, DECO, a mining company working for Thiess India, went to Chirudih Barwadih village, Barka gaon block to start mining work, but were chased away by the villagers. The NTPC assured the people to call for a Gram Sabha meeting but didn't do so. The next day, April 30, 2013, the Block Development Officer (BDO), block revenue officer and other administrative officers participated in the Gram Sabha. The resolution passed by the Gram Sabha disallowed the company of any mining activity in that village. The protests continued and the people deflated the tyres of the machines that had illegally come for mining.

The villagers were outraged at the fact that the Company had cut down nearly 10,000 trees in an effort to make a road 40 feet wide and 20 kms long to facilitate the easy movement of heavy vehicles.

Since then, the villagers from Pankiri Barwadih coal block area have been coming down to protest, demanding that the company stop all work and take back their machines. Our indefinite protests will continue till the company goes back.

On the 6th of May, in Arahara gaon, Barka Gaon block, North Karnpura, Pankiri Barwadi Coal mines area of NTPC, Some people from THIESS INDIA had come to do a survey. They were also cutting Sagwan trees using hired labourers. The villagers protested and asked them to stop cutting trees and leave, but they persisted. The people got angry and manhandled them. The same day, in Nagadigaon, in the same block, some officials from NTPC were held by the protesting villagers. The police was called and after talking with the villagers, they were released.

On May 7, 2013, Aruprai Chaudhary, Chief Managing Director, NTPC came to Karnpura to visit the work site but was welcomed with Black flags, placards and sloganeering. The protest was called by various organizations resisting the mining activities like- Karnpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Janmbhoomi Rakhsha Samiti, Karnpura Kisan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti.

He called for a meeting with the protesters and asked five people to represent those agitating to come for talks to the office but the protestors refused and asked the officials to come for the Gram Sabha, which they refused to do.

On 8th May, 2013, a case was registered in Badka Gaon police station, against 3 activists - Deepak Das, 34 yrs, Anirudha Kumar 38 yrs, Dileshwar Mahato 35 yrs. An FIR was lodged also on unknown 40-45 people, a copy of which can only be procured by early next week. The interesting fact is the naming of 3 people from a group of over 70 protesters. This shows a clear effort by the company to target some people. They also lodged the complaint 2 days after the incident to avoid any untoward incidents during the visit of their CMD.

In the last eight years, more that 70 people have been arrested and jailed with fabricated cases all over Karnpura valley.

Today, the people of the Karnpura valley are faced with a daunting prospect of their fertile agricultural lands being taken over by almost 35 companies like NTPC who have signed MOUs with the state government and acquired leases from the coal ministry. Close to 210 villages and 2.5 lakh people are affected by these projects directly or indirectly. The area is also responsible for meeting a major chunk of the paddy requirement of the country. The area also has archaeological importance with megaliths in Pankiri Barwadih village, buddhist sites and rock arts in ISCO village, all falling in the project areas. The Karnpura valley is adjoining the Damodar river and hence runs the risk of getting more polluted by coal mining and power companies.

The continuous strong struggle of the people from the valley needs to be supported and justice needs to be done to those who are framed in wrong cases. The people of the valley have clearly said that they will not sell an inch of their land, come what may.

Deepak Das and Dev Prasad,

For Karnpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti

--
Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee (JMACC)
B6, Abhilasha Apartment,
11A Purulia Road,
Ranchi - 834001
Telefax : 0651 2531874/2532035
website : www.firstpeoplesfirst.in

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