People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 20

May 15, 2011


Angry Tribals Chase Away Local MLA


THE tribals in Vishakapatnam district chased away their local MLA Soma and Mandal Praja Parishad president Danne Rao when they came to their village to make them accept about giving away their lands to a private individual for mining china clay. Angry tribals roughed up the MPP president, tearing his shirt and showering blows on him, during a public rally organised in Khandrum village in Dumbriguda mandal of the district on May 11. An SUV of the local TDP MLA was badly damaged by the angry tribals who suspect that the MLA is hand in glove with fictitious private parties to snatch away their lands. However, the MLA escaped without any injuries.


The license was allotted in the name of one a tribal, N Bhoodevi, to acquire the agency land for mining purpose. She had even got the preliminary permits to carry on mining activity in the region. However on inquiry it was revealed that no person with such a name exists at the address mentioned. This exposed the government's collusion in the land grab. The AP Girijana Sangham is leading an agitation against this and seeking cancellation of the permits for mining. It organised a pada yatra on May 7 from Jankaravalasa village and toured many villages in the panchayat propagating the need to resist this acquisition of their lands. The concluding meeting of this yatra was organised in Khandrum village on May 11. Uninvited, these two public representatives who were actively colluding in procuring of the land, came to the meeting and tried to speak about the benefits of mining and why the people should hand over the lands for this purpose.


Enraged over this, the tribals spontaneously obstructed them and roughed up the MPP president. Sensing the mood of the tribals, the two elected representatives beat a hasty retreat. Even then they were chased for nearly a kilometre. They were asked to explain why they were aloof to the agitation against this mining that has been going on for the last one month. The TDP MLA escaped the wrath of the people only by assuring them that he would fully stand by them in the struggle to cancel the licenses for mining. He also promised to take up this issue with the government.


The Congress state government had given permission to N Bhoodevi to mine 61.17 lakh tonnes of china clay from 38.57 acres of land in Khandrum panchayat area. The government was contemplating holding a public hearing of the villagers for getting the required permits from the union environment ministry. But given the mood of the people, they have postponed it. The lessons taught by tribals to the elected representatives will hopefully make the government reconsider their attempt to allow usurping of tribal lands.