Parasi Gold Block Auction Sparks Protests in Jharkhand, Tribespeople Demand Scrapping of Project

Reported by

Nupur Sonar

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 22, 2020

January 22, 2020

Updated on

January 22, 2020

Location of Conflict

Parasi

Kotadih, Kutachauli

Ranchi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Gold Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5497

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

75

ha

Starting Year

2017

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Mining

The residents of Tamar block in Ranchi district have been demanding scrapping of the Parasi gold mining project since 2017, alleging that the community was not consulted. According to the Mineral Exploration Corporation, the block holds 7.467 million tonnes of gold reserves and was auctioned to Rungta Mines Limited, a flagship company of the SR Rungta Group, for INR 1,200 crore. The Rungta Group is primarily involved in iron ore and manganese ore mining. Protests against the auction of the gold block broke out soon after the auction process was completed in November 2017. According to media reports, forest dwellers from 19 villages under the Parasi panchayat staged a peaceful demonstration at the Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on November 8, 2017. At the protest, two groups – the Adivasi Jan Parishad and the Panch Pargana Zamin Bachao Sangharsh Morcha – demanded the implementation of the 1997 Samatha Judgment (a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court in 1997 in which it declared all lands leased out to private mining companies in Scheduled Areas null and void)** **and protested the lack of consultation with the Gram Sabha prior to the auction of the gold block. The map shows that not just Parasi, but panchayats such as Amlesha, Ulidih, Tamar, Kundula, Kurkutta, among others, will come under the mining area gradually. Entire Tamar block will be erased slowly from the map, president of Adivasi Jan Parishad Prem Singh Munda told the media. However, the State Mines Commissioner had dismissed the apprehensions. According to him, there was no reason to harbour such apprehensions at an early stage as mining and environmental clearances were yet to be obtained. Following the protest, the two organisations also submitted memorandums to the governor demanding the cancellation of the auction but received no response, Munda told LCW. Tamar is a Schedule V area. This is also Mundari Khunt Kattidari Zameen *(land cleared by the Mundas for cultivation and habitation after their arrival in Chotanagpur)* and based on the Samatha Judgment, the Gram Sabha should have been consulted prior to the auction of the mine, he said, adding that brokers have started visiting the villagers to convince them to give up their land. The mining plan for the gold block was approved in 2018, but the project is yet to be granted an environmental clearance and a mining lease. While the submissions to the environment ministry state that over 97,000 people live within a 10kilometre radius of the project site, the mining plan states that there is no habitation in the area and, thus, the project will not cause displacement. But the fear of displacement, pollution from the mine and loss of land and livelihood continue to loom large among the tribal residents of the area. While land owners may be compensated for their loss, what about the landless people? Pollution from the mine will wipe out the entire region, said Girish Singh Munda, a member of the panchayat, while speaking to LCW. According to media reports, the residents held another demonstration on August 21, 2019, a day before the Pollution Control Board held a meeting with them.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

No items found.

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Scrapping of the project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land), Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1200

Type of investment:

Investment Made

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Case Laws, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(2) proviso ii [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 recognition and vesting of forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Section 8 [Union government empowered to grant or reject approval to the project proposal with or without conditions]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 26 [This section lays down the criteria for assessment and determination of market value of land by District Collector]; Section 27 [This section provides for determination of amount of compensation]; Section 28 [This section lays down parameters to be considered by District Collector to determine the compensation]; Section 31(1) [This section mentions the rehabilitation and resettlement award for affected families by District Collector]; Section 73 [This section provides for re-determination of compensation amount on the basis of the award of the Authority]; First Schedule [This Schedule contains the components that should constitute the minimum compensation package to be given to those who lose their land]; Second Schedule [This Schedule provides for the components of the rehabilitation entitlements of land owners who lose land]
Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors. (AIR 1997 SC 3297, Supreme Court)
Land leased to private companies in Scheduled Areas will be null and void.
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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

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

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:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd, Jharkhand Government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Rungta Mines Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

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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Edited By

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