KORAPUT: Principal of Laxmipur Degree College Biju Muduli and four other persons were arrested by police on Wednesday for allegedly instigating locals against mining in the nearby Kodingamali bauxite reserve.Laxmipur SDPO Tapan Rath said Muduli was holding meetings with local people against bauxite mining on the college campus without obtaining permission from appropriate authorities.
Notably, mining in the area has come to a standstill since the April 15 with people blocking roads to the mines following the arrest of a Samiti member of Champi. The Samiti member was arrested after a vehicle was torched in the mines area allegedly by Maoists on April 13.
Terming Muduli’s arrest as unjust, former MP of Koraput and a senior BJP leader Jayram Pangi said it is wrong to arrest someone for instigating people to fight for a right cause. The double standard of the State Government has been exposed as it failed to take any action against persons who damaged property of IMFA in Rayagada district and continuously instigated people to break the law under the very nose of the administration but is now taking action against Muduli who is trying to save local people from a devastating future, Pangi said.
He further alleged that the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) had not conducted Gram and Palli Sabhas to seek opinions of the 22 mining-affected villages of Laxmipur, Dasmantpur and Kashipur blocks. People opposing mining activities in the region are demanding establishment of a factory by the mining company besides welfare programmes under its CSR policy.