Villagers in Gadchiroli campaign to shut down Surjagarh iron ore mine

Reported by

Pravin Mote

Published on

February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017

Updated on

February 16, 2017

Location of Conflict

Surajgarh

Gatta, Bande

Gadchiroli

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

3736

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

348

ha

Starting Year

2008

State

Maharashtra

Sector

Mining

In 2007, Lloyd Steel, a Mumbai based firm, was given clearances to begin iron ore mining operations in Surjagarh hills of Gadchiroli- a predominantly tribal district with large reserves of high-grade Iron ore. The company was granted a mining lease of 348.09 ha for the period of 50 years. The firm did not start mining until 2011. When it did, both the villagers and the armed rebels protested. In 2013, in a highly publicized event, the Naxalites of the region shot dead some of the officials of the Lloyd group. Following which former CM Devendra Fadanvis, in August 2015, requested the home minister to increase the presence of paramilitary troops in the region to help facilitate the process of continuing mining operations. On December 5, 2016, representatives from 70 village involving tribal leaders, local social organizations and political leaders gathered in Surjagarh and passed a resolution to halt the mining and demanded that the government cancels all present and proposed mining leases. They also passed resolutions to implement the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 and Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act to protect the livelihood of people. However, mining did not stop despite the opposition of local tribal. On December 24, 2016, suspected Maoists torched about 80 mining trucks belonging to the company and its contractors. Since then, the situation in the region has been tense and a heavy police force has been deployed. The local Adivasi community has been caught in between the Naxalites and the State. A local youth, Raju Sedamake, was killed by the Naxalites for persuading villagers to agree to the project. On the other hand, the villagers also face harassment and arrest at the hands of the police and paramilitary forces if they are vocal about their anti-mining stance.
According to the locals, the process of acquiring land under the Forest Rights act (2006), and seeking consent under the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, wasn't undertaken. In 2017, residents of nearly 70 villages had protested against the state governments allotment of mining licenses, arguing that due process wasn't followed. In January 2019, the mining activities were shut once again following a Maoist attack on the trucks. However, in February 2019, 200 villagers gathered in the Gadchiroli district headquarters demanding that mining operations be resumed, as the locals depended on employment in the mines for their livelihood. In January 2020, the project received a nod to restart again from the CM Uddhav Thackeray.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest, Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

47

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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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.

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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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Physical attack

Killing

Torching of houses

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

In 2013, in a highly publicized event, the Naxalites of the region shot dead some of the officials of the Lloyd group; On December 24, 2016, suspected Maoists torched about 80 mining trucks belonging to the company and its contractors

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Surjagarh hills, Gadchiroli

Nature of Protest

Armed protests

Objections as part of official procedures

Property damage/arson

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Mining Department, State Forest Department, Revenue Department, Collector's Office, Central Reserve Police Force

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:

LLoyd Metals and Energy Ltd

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Surjagarh Paramparik Illaka Ghotul Samiti

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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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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