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

Reported by

Nupur Sonar

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Updated on

October 7, 2019

Location of Conflict

Chiru

Palamu

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Mining

Stone Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1824

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

10

ha

Starting Year

2018

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. It was granted a 10year mining lease in 2014. The 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 again 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 sitin protest outside the district collector's office reiterating their demands. The sitin was called off within a week after assurances from district officials, but residents say they never heard back from the authorities. In April the same year, mining in the area stopped after a stonecrushing 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.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

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:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Item 1(a) Schedule [Environmental clearances for mining to be granted with general conditions, and area of mining lease granted to be
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 4 [Prohibition on undertaking any mining operations except in accordance with the terms of the lease granted under the Act]; Section 4A(1) [License/Lease can be terminated due to pollution and public health issues]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Judicial harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Yes

Reported Details of the Violation:

In May 2018, armed goons entered homes in the village and beat up men and women who had opposed stone mining. When the victims complained, they were charged with false cases of extortion and theft.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Dantuta Mines

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

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

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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