People of Tribal Land Fighting Against Nuclear Terror in Jadugoda (Jharkhand)
This one day before of the public hear of UCIL project (lease extension for mine mill),situation here become tense. State administration with 50 armed police forces and 200 villagers(man and women) are face to face as the villagers of Matigoda whose land has been grabbed by UCIl way back they went to plough their land UCIL brought armed police. History of dispute is way back, villagers of Matigoda still pay Khajana (land tax) to the government.
UCIL has grabbed these land way back but no compensation or any job has been given the villagers, this dispute is going on for long time. circle officer - (Potka ) Mr. Sanjay Sandil - came to mediate, just now GM of UCIl Mr. Mahali has called and inviting people for negotiation at 4p.m.
- The state of Jharkhand known as the abode of Adivasis, contains 40 percent minerals of India, has been witnessing series of people's resistances against unjust development processes for the decades. The industrialization has been chocked, investor is in uncertainty and city dweller middle class cries foul but the anger of the Adivasis against the land acquisition for the development projects is not coming down in the state. In a fresh incident, thousands of Adivasis of Talsa village near Jamshedpur entered into the office premises of the Deputy Commissioner of East Singhbhum at Jamshedpur on May 19, resisting against the land acquisition drive by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for its new tailing pond project near Turamdih mill. The villagers started gathering in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office since the morning. They were armed with the traditional weapons – bows, arrows, axes, swords and sickles. The agitators with placards, banners and traditional weapons were up in arms against the PSU under the leadership of the village chief Durga Charan Murmu. The Adivasis became angry when the UCIL informed them of its land acquisition drive through a public notice last month. The company proposes to acquire 276.62 acres of land for its tailing pond project. The tailing pond will be used for dumping waste generated from UCIL's Banduhurang mines. The villagers have been fighting against the UCIL for the compensation since 1983 but their issues were not addressed therefore they have joined hands against the news project of the company. The Adivasis demanded that the Deputy Commissioner should come out of his office for receiving the memorandum. They rejected the officers' plea to submit their memorandum to sub-divisional officer Kartik Kumar Prabhat who was present at the spot in the capacity of the Magistrate. After a hue and cry of the district administration, the villagers agreed to submit their memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) H.N. Ram who arrived at the spot. "We have taken the memorandum and would look into the demands made by the villagers," H.N. Ram said. The villagers called off the protest after the ADC promised the villagers to look into the matter and take the appropriate action. The painful suffer of Talsa village had begun with the notification for land acquisition in 1983-84. According to the agreement made between the Talsa Gram Sabha and the UCIL management in 1983, the UCIL had promised to provide employment to two to three members from each displaced families. Accordingly, the UCIL management started making appointments and provided jobs to 45 displaced persons by 1988. But in 2000, the management suddenly decided to resume the extension project and went ahead without fulfilling its commitment. The majority of the people displaced between 1984 and 1985 were not rehabilitated properly and left in isolation. According to the Census 2001, the total population of Talsa village is 912. The village is highly dominated by the Adivasis with the population of 889. Presently, the village population has increased therefore approximately 1500 people would be completely displaced from the village if the land is acquired. These villagers have already given half of their agricultural land to the UCIL but now it has plan to acquire the entire village therefore the villagers are strongly resisting against it. The section 144 has been imposed by the Gram Sabha after a meeting of villagers on May 10. According to the village head Durga Charan Murmu, the UCIL failed to meet its promises made in 1983 therefore Adivasis don't want to give their lands to the company at any cost. "Most of the villagers depends on agriculture for their livelihood, we have a place of worshiping our God and our culture is based on land therefore we don't want to lose our remaining land any more," Murmu said. The people of mining areas live in threat of lives due to the radiation as there are open cast uranium mining projects being operated. After the uranium ore is mined and processed, the "yellow cake'" is sent to the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad for enrichment. The waste is then brought back to the UCIL complex for further extraction. Finally, the waste is dumped into the ponds, which is open and unprotected. In the last year during the rainy season, the radioactive waste from the tailing pond of Turamdih uranium mines spilled over into the village's wells, ponds and fields. The UCIL admited it but denied its threat to life due to radiation. But the fact is aquatic creatures died, fishes got strange diseases and crops were affected therefore the villagers had stopped using water of the pond and wells. However, the UCIL claims that it has not seen any effect of radiation on its workforce. But the people's lives are in danger in the uranium mining areas of Jharkhand. Precisely, because on the one hand, they lose their land and do not paid sufficient compensation as promised, and they also suffer from chronic diseases i.e. lung cancer, skin disease and physical deformities caused by radiation on the other. In fact, the lives have been lost, cattle died and human suffering is on but the state which duty is to protect the rights of these people, promotes the nuclear terror in the name of development. Therefore, the Adivasis of Jharkhand have decided not to surrender their land for any project and fight against the nuclear terror, which has heavily cost to the community for decades. Gladson Dungdung
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