Dalit, Tribal Settlements in Jharkhand's Palamu District Demand Closure of Stone Mine

Reported by

Nupur SonarLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 13, 2021

Location of Conflict

Chiru

,

Palamu

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Mining

Stone Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1824

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

10

ha

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Mining

"The residents of three primarily Dalit and tribal settlements in Chiru village in Jharkhand's Palamu district have been protesting since 2018 against stone mining carried out by Dantuta Mines, owned and operated by Anjani Kumar. These settlements are located within 30 metres of the mines. The residents have complained that blasting is carried out at night, which violates the terms of the environmental clearance. The blasting causes pollution, due to which many people in the village, including children, have breathing issues, and many have died due to tuberculosis. A huge stone broke through our roof once during mining. It could have killed my family, Rajkumar Oraon, a farmer from Chiru, told Land Conflict Watch. Residents also say that there have been instances of cattle succumbing to injuries from stones that would fly into their settlements. Over time the mine expanded, and by April 2018, the mining company started taking over the only access road to the village during the monsoon, gradually taking over our grazing lands, agricultural fields, burial ground, and even land where toilets, and houses under the Indira Awas Yojana, were being built, says Pintu Oraon, another member of the Oraon tribe and a resident of the village. The people have written to the district administration several times but received no response.  The area leased for mining was government land and mining activities were supposed to be limited to about nine acres; however, the mining company encroached further, and the mine currently extends to over 25 acres, Avinash, a member of the Chiru panchayat, told in an interview to Newsclick.  In May 2018, the residents of the village filed a police complaint after armed goons entered the village one night and beat up men and women who opposed stone mining. There have also been instances of firing on the houses of the villagers.No action was taken against the perpetrators, but false cases of extortion and theft were filed against several villagers, says Jayram Oraon, another resident. The Dalits and tribals held protests throughout December and once against wrote to the district administration but to no avail. Their pleas included permanent closure of the mine, strict action against Anjani Kumar, dismissal of false cases filed against the residents and protection from henchmen. In January 2019, they launched a sit-in protest outside the district collector's office reiterating their demands. The sit-in was called off within a week after assurances from district officials, but residents say they never heard back from the authorities. In April, mining in the area stopped after a stone-crushing equipment was set ablaze. Cases have been filed against a few villagers, who say it was the doing of the contractor's workers. They said they had insurance for their equipment but we would rot in jail, Pintu told Land Conflict Watch. Although mining in the village has stopped temporarily, the residents continue to press for their demands. Dantuta Mines was granted a 10-year mining lease in February 2014.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land), Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

10

ha

Starting Year

2018

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

District administration

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Anjani Kumar, owner of Dantuta Mines

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

All India Students' Association, Jharkhand, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
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