Protests against the loss of fertile, multi-crop land have raged on in Barkagaon block of Hazaribagh district since 2004, when the Pakri Barwadih coal block was allocated to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The main site is located on forestland and private agricultural land belonging to 23 villages. The affected families are opposing the project for not consulting with them while acquiring the land for the project. The land was acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957, which contains no provision to consult affected communities, or seek the free, prior and informed consent of the affected people. In 2009, NTPC applied for forest clearance to mine 1026 hectares of forest land. Aruna Chandrasekhar, senior researcher at Amnesty International India said, "NTPCs mine received clearance to use forest land without adequate consultation with communities who depend on these forests for their livelihoods. However, NTPC's application for Forest Clearance shows letters of consent from 17 villages by forest Rights committee of the villages who are not representative bodies and their approval cannot substitute for Gramsabha approval. When Amnesty International approached NTPC for response on the allegations, they said, " Forest clearance has been granted by MOEF after the compliance of all the provisions under Forest Clearance Act, 1980. Similarly, the private land was mainly acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, 1957 and some under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 for building company offices, rehabilitation colonies, etc. Both the Acts do not ask for consent of community in cases of coal bearing areas. In November 2013, the people from the villages led a Koyla Satyagraha in which they decided to dig out coal deposit beneath their lands on their own. They would sell the coal to traders and pay royalty to the gram sabha, suggesting it as an alternative model of mining in the region. In August 2015, the protests turned violent, when the farmers confronted the police officials who responded with tear gas shells and shot 22 rounds of bullets into the crowd. The affected families haven't accepted the compensation given by NTPC. The NTPC revised the compensation to 20 lakh per acre from 7 lakh per acre. However, the villagers say that it is an inadequate compensation for their land and the they should be given four times the market value of land as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. In September 2019, Virendra Kumar, an activist from Jharkhand, said in a news report, Post 2016, the coal mining plant has been functional and is expanding at the cost of the lives and livelihoods of tribal and environment. The latest attack (in September 2019) from the firm has been the forcible demolition of over 10 houses in Jugra (one of the affected village in Hazaribagh district) for the creation of heavy duty conveyor belts.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Goverment of Jharkhand
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Limited
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Karanpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Janmabhoomi Raksha Sangharsh Samiti, Buddhijeevi Manch, Ekta Parishad
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Forest Rights Act of 2006
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Name(s) of Court(s)
Nature of Protest
Involvement of national and international NGOs, Land occupation, Protests/marches
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Attempted killing, Arrest/detention/imprisonment
Reported Details of the Violation:
A protest in August 2015, led by local politician Nirmala Devi, outside the rehabilitation colony turned violent. Six persons were injured when the police opened fire on the crowd, including a journalist. . On October 1, 2016, another protest in Pakri Barwadih village turned violent, where four protesters were killed and several injured in police firing. According to activists working in the area, several false cases have been filed against those who oppose the project.
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?