#Chhattisgarh villagers plan ‘coal march’ to get mining rights on natural resources – Oct- 2


 

Location of Dantewada and Bastar districts, th...

Location of Dantewada and Bastar districts, the most affected regions in Chhattisgarh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Joseph John, TNN | Sep 28, 2012, 08.03PM IST

 

RAIPUR: Amid raging controversy over coal block allocations, Chhattisgarh is all set to witness a unique movement from October 2-Gandhi Jayanti day- when a group of villagers will start mining coal, demanding that local community be given mining rights on natural resources.

 

“Around 1000 villagers will break the coal law like Mahatma Gandhi led the movement against salt law. Local communities should have the first right on natural resources and not industrial houses”, Savita Rath of non-government organisation Jan Chetna Manch told TOI over telephone from Raigarh.

 

She said the villagers of Gare, Sarasmal and Khamharia in Tamnar block in Raigarh district would undertake a march to Gare mines to start mining of coal. The agitation is aimed at triggering a movement in the country against the plunder of natural resources on which the local communities have a natural first right, she said. Stating that more people from the nearby villagers have also pledged their support to the movement, Savita said the local communities could pay more royalty to the government than the industrial groups which had acquired coal blocks.

 

“If they are paying Rs 50 as royalty, we are ready to pay Rs 500”, she said. “The villagers have resolved not to allow the Jindal group to carryout coal mining in the area”, she said the government and the Raigarh district administration have already been informed about the proposed agitation.

 

 

 

JSPL guard part of plot to shoot RTI activist Ramsh Agarwal : Police


Ramesh Agarwal

Friday, 27 July 2012, Zee News
Staff Reporter In Raigarh

In a stunning revelation, the police claimed on Thursday that a security guard working with private steel major Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) had hired contract killers to shoot a noted RTI activist who has a history of exposing industrial houses for flouting rules.

The police presented the three accused at a crowded Press conference in Raigarh town and said the interrogation revealed that the guard, who was working with JSPL through a security agency, had a key role in the daring attack on Ramesh Agrawal, 56, who was shot at twice in his office on July 7.

Agrawal was operated on more than once at a private hospital in Raipur and is still in the intensive care unit, though doctors have taken out both bullets from his body.

The accused security guard has been identified as Tarkeshwar Rai.

“Rai had given money to G Vyankatesh, who hired a few goons. The three of them have been arrested in Odisha last week and brought to Raigarh on transit remand. The attack plot was then revealed before the media by the police,” said Neha Pandey, Additional Superintendent of Police (city).

She added that the arrested men — Sunil Behra, Sanjay Das and Naresh Patro — were history-sheeters in the neighbouring Odisha, while one of the key accused, G Vyankatesh, was still at large.

“Sunil Behra revealed during police interrogation that he was given `10,000 to kill Agrawal. Police teams would soon be sent to track down Vyankatesh,” Pandey said.

Asked about motive behind the attack, Inspector General of Police Ashok Juneja told The Pioneer over the phone, “Very soon, the mastermind behind the attack will be in police clutches and then I will be able to give you more details about the sequence of the attack.”

JSPL has massive business interests in Raigarh district and Agrawal has a track record of lobbying against industries in the district.

In one of his most recent campaigns against the Jindal Group, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had, in April, cancelled environmental clearance granted for a 4-million tonne per annum coal mine to JSPL on the basis of documental evidence submitted by the RTI activist.

Agrawal had claimed before the tribunal that the mandatory public hearing held to clear the project did not follow accepted procedure.

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