MAC: Mines and Communities

Youths disturb House

Published by MAC on 2005-08-07

Youths disturb House

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Aug. 9 — Five youths of Kalahandi district created a flutter in the Assembly today by suddenly raising slogans against the Vedanta Alumina company and flinging papers from the visitors’ gallery. The security personnel quickly whisked the youths away and covered their mouths to prevent them from shouting slogans. The Speaker, Mr Maheswar Mohanty, directed the security staff to enquire how the youths had entered the gallery with the papers.

It may be noted here that the proposed alumina plant to be set up in Kalahandi district has generated several environmental concerns. Presently the proposal is under judicial scrutiny with several legislators submitting petitions to the Central Empowered Committee formed by the Supreme Court. The committee has in turn sent teams to conduct on-the-spot assessment and the hearing is in progress.

The youths told the reporters that they belong to the Kalahandi Sachetan Nagarika Manch and were out to voice their protest in a democratic non-violent manner. Nayan Das, Jayanta Nayak, Satyanarayan Mahar ,G Patra and Trilochan Panigrahi said they had failed in their repeated attempts to draw the attention of local ministers and the MLA’s towards the issue.

These youths alleged that the ministers have their own vested interests. They said this in the presence of the ministers who had come to the security room to talk to them. The plant’s mining operations will not only uproot the tribals, rob their livelihood but also destroy the ecological balance of the Niyamagiri hills, they added.

Later, the Speaker, Mr Maheswar Mohanty, informed the House that the youths had availed entry pass on recommendation of the three MLAs Mr N Surin ( JMM), Mr Md Rafique (BJP) and Mr Narayan Reddy (CPI). The youths were released after brief detention but the privilege of recommending passes has been withdrawn from these MLAs added the Speaker.

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