BHUBANESWAR: Tribals of Niyamgiri on Tuesday sought the intervention of Governor SC Jamir to stop the State Government from trying to convene gram sabha meetings again for bauxite mining in the hills, an area sacred for Dongoria Kondhs and other scheduled tribes.
Niyamgiri Suraksha Sangram Samiti and Lokshakti Abhijan, fighting for the rights of Dongoria Kondhs, submitted a memorandum to the Governor seeking his intervention in the matter as the chairman of Tribes Advisory Council (TAC).
Stating that the decision taken by Gram Sabhas of 12 villages to reject bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills cannot be changed, the tribal leaders criticised the State Government for trying to re-open the issue to serve the interest of Vedanta. They said tribals wanted gram sabhas to be held in all 112 villages in Niyamgiri, but the State Government selected only 12 villages. In spite of that, the tribals had rejected the proposal for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri, they said.
They alleged that the State Government is trying to spread terror among Dongoria Kondhs and other tribals to succeed in its design to mine bauxite in Niyamgiri hills. They announced that the tribals of the areas will also oppose mining in the adjacent Karlapat hills.
The encounter killing of Manda Kadraka on February 27 by terming him as a Maoist was done to terrorise tribals, they said and added that this will be opposed. The tribal leaders demanded a judicial probe into the killing of Kadraka by police and compensation of `35 lakh for his family members.
Lada Sikaka and Lingaraj Azad of Niyamgiri Suraksha Sangram Samiti, president of Lokshakti Abhijan Prafulla Samantray, Manda’s brother Driga Kadraka and Dambaru Sikaka, who was witness to police picking up Manda from the village, were present at the media conference.