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Girijans' resolve to oppose bauxite mining on display

Special Correspondent

Girijan Sangham's padayatra concludes


  • Warning signals sent to Government against mining
  • Broadside against Government at meeting
  • Discrimination against Girijans alleged
  • Charge against Ministers

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Araku Valley in the agency area of the district witnessed a massive rally and the Girijans' resolve to oppose bauxite mining as the padayatra organised by the Andhra Pradesh Girijana Sangham concluded on Wednesday.

    Speakers at a public meeting attended by more than 2,000 Girijans sent a warning to the Government that the Girijans were prepared to fight tooth and nail if the Government decided to go ahead with the bauxite mining.

    Colourful

    The padayatra, conducted in two phases, commenced on July 21 and reached Padmapuram, a few kilometres from Araku Valley, on Tuesday evening. A large number of tribals, armed with their traditional bows participated in the padayatra. The leaders were welcomed at Padmapuram by blowing "Kommu Boora'' and beating "Tudum'' as Dhimsa dancers and Praja Natya Mandali artistes performed during the padayatra which continued up to Araku Valley.

    At the public meeting, the speakers launched a broadside against the Government for deciding to mine for bauxite. The secretary of the State unit of the Andhra Pradesh Girijana Sangham, K. Lakshmana Rao, warned the Chief Minister of serious consequences if the mining was taken up.

    ``This Government is a demon. It will consume Girijans. It did not react when the Girijans were dying due to malaria but is keen on bauxite mining,'' Mr. Lakshmana Rao said.

    If the funds meant for Girijans' development were taken into consideration, a sum of Rs. 6 lakhs should have been spent on each Girijan but in reality there was no improvement in the lot of Girijans' families.

    Tribals targeted

    Whenever a major project like Sileru, coal mining in Bhadrachalam or bauxite mining in Damanjodi was taken up, it was the Girijans who suffered most. The secretary of Andhra Pradesh Rytu Sangham, S. Malla Reddy, alleged that Ministers Konathala Ramakrishna and Botsa Satyanarayana, were also responsible for allowing bauxite mining. One lakh tribals would be displaced due to bauxite mining but they were ready to fight the "demon.''

    The CPI (M) State committee representative, M.V.S. Sarma, warned the Government not to deceive the Girijans in the name of mining.

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