Parasi Gold Block Auction Sparks Protests, Tribals Demand Scrapping of Project

Reported by

Nupur SonarLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 22, 2020

Location of Conflict

Parasi

Kotadih, Kutachauli

Ranchi

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Gold Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5497

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 Ltd, 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 (Village Assembly) 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 Telegraph. 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 10km 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 continues 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

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

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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:

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

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:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd, Jharkhand Government

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:

Rungta Mines Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Nupur Sonar

Reviewed By

Nupur Sonar

Updated By

Nupur Sonar

Edited By

Nupur SonarLand Conflict Watch
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