Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Lanjigarh, Jun 5:
Hundreds of Dongria and Jharania tribals of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts residing in the Niyamgiri hills today held a massive rally at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district to celebrate Supreme Court’s May 13 verdict against mining in Niyamgiri hills.
The massive rally organized by Niyamgiri Surakshya Samiti (NSS) which is underway at the filing of this report is being attended by social activist Medha Patekar and Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Parekh.
Dongria and Jharania tribals hailing from as many as 112 villages split into five groups with traditional weapons in their hands have been holding Vijay Padayatras since May 29 to celebrate apex court’s verdict which culminated in today’s rally.
Participants shouted slogans against Vedantas and oppression by the police which they claimed worked as agents of the company.
“We will continue our struggle for the protection of Niyam Raja. We will rather sacrifice our lives than allow mining in Niyamgiri. We will continue our struggle till Vedanta moves out from here,” said Dongria Kondh participant in the rally.
NSS convener Prafulla Samantra, Biramitrapur independent MLA George Tirkey were present at the rally