BHUBANESWAR: Members of tribal communities from different parts of Odisha on Friday staged a protest in the state capital to oppose acquisition of forest land for industrial projects in their localities.
The members demanded adequate protection for forest and wildlife along with conservation of natural resources. The agitators opposed mining lease at Khandualmali in Thuamul Rampur tehsil of Kalahandi district and other hill areas of the state. Members of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti Rayagada, who were part of the agitation, were seen holding placards that read ‘Cultural cleansing: Make In Odisha’ to criticise the ongoing investment summit of the state government.
Members of Khandualmali Suraksha Samiti, on the other hand, opposed the new Forest Conservation Rules of the Centre terming it anti-tribal and demanded its immediate withdrawal. The agitators during the demonstration at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg urged the state government and Centre to respect gram sabhas.