MEMBERS FROM tribal communities of 30 villages in Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja and Korba districts, who have been protesting against coal mining projects in Hasdeo Aranya region, have decided to return to their villages after a meeting with state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Thursday evening. They also met Governor Anusuia Uikey earlier in the day.
The protesters marched from Ambikapur district to reach Raipur on Wednesday, covering over 300 kms in ten days, to register their protest against what they called “illegal” land acquisition.
State health minister TS Singh Deo met them the same day and issued a statement of support. The Chief Minister has assured them that an investigation will be carried out on the basis of their allegations. “We are standing with the aadiwasi of the state. The area of Lemru Elephant Reserve which covers all the coal blocks in the region will not be reduced than 1995 sq km as was decided by the government in 2018,” a state government statement said.
“We were assured by the Governor that she would communicate with both the central and state governments,” Alok Shukla, one of the protesters and convenor of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, said.
They submitted their memorandum of demands to both the offices. “We are planning to go back…It’s a crucial time for farming. Further course of action will be decided in a meeting later,” one of the protesters said.