The residents of Banjikhol village in Tamnar block have been spending sleepless nights. Their houses are being demolished to allow coal mining at Gare Palma IV/4 coal block by Hindalco Industries Limited, a private mining company. The coal block was transferred to Hindalco in 2015 from the previous lessee, Jayaswal Neco Limited, after the Supreme Court cancelled all mining leases in the country and ordered fresh allocations in 2014. Around 50 families, mostly from tribal communities, have been affected by the mining operations. The residents have refused to vacate their houses alleging lack of adequate compensation and rehabilitation by the local administration. They have even accused government officials of intimidating them. The government, meanwhile, claims the residents to be encroachers. Ashok Marbal, sub divisional magistrate of Gharghoda town in Raigarh, told LCW that the villagers have occupied the land illegally and are unwilling to leave despite being offered increased compensation. He said the administration would soon try to clear the land for mining. Land rights activist and lawyer D.P. Chauhan, along with other activists, have moved court against the forceful evictions after the local administration paid no heed to their demands and failed to decide a suitable compensation package. The families staged a road blockade prior to the lockdown to protest against their eviction. Land activists also allege that Hindalco has not taken the consent of the Gram Sabha (Village Assembly), thus violating the Forest Rights Act, 2006. However, Rakesh Mishra, assistant vicepresident of Human Resources at Hindalco, told LCW that most of the families have already shifted to the colonies that have been built for their rehabilitation and just two families were creating trouble by demanding more money. He added that it is the governments duty to hand over the land to Hindalco for mining.
Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for more compensation than promised, Refusal to give up land for the project
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Land Acquisition Laws
Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4 (e) (i) [Programmes and projects for social and economic development to be approved by the Gram Sabha]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3 [This section deals with forest rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers. The clearance of such developmental projects shall be subject to the condition that the same is recommended by the Gram Sabha]; Section 4 [This section deals with the recognition of, and vesting of, forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]; Section 6 [Authorities to vest forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 4: [Preparation of Social Impact Assessment in consultation with the panchayat or municipality]; Section 5: [Public hearing for the Social Impact Assessment]; Section 38 [Collector to ensure that the rehabilitation and resettlement process is complete before taking possession of the land]; Section 41 [This section lays down stricter and special provisions for land acquisition from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, including the requirement to make detailed development plan and to gain approval from the local authority]; Section 64 [Representation before the collector by anyone who has not accepted the compensation]
Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015
Section 21 [Provisions of LARR Act, 2013, shall apply to acquisition of land]
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:
Forced evictions/ Dispossession of Land, Non-rehabilitation of displaced people, Non-implementation/violation of the FRA
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
High Court of Chattisgarh
Writ Petition (C) No. 1659 of 2020
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Officials allegedly intimidated village residents and threatened them to leave their houses.
Date of Violation
April 26, 2020
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Mineral Resources Department
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:
Hindalco Industries Limited
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict: