Lamba, (Rayagada), Aug 1: As expected, the ninth Gram Sabha held in this remote village today to take a call on the issue of mining in the Niyamgiri hills, followed the pattern set in the preceding eight Gram Sabhas.
Out of the 46 voters in Lamba village, 38 took part in the Gram Sabha today and all of them voiced their opposition to the proposal to allow mining of bauxite in Niyamgiri, considered sacred by the primitive Dongria and Kutia Kondh tribes inhabiting the area.
‘ Naveen govt misled the apex court ‘
In Bhubaneswar, Union Minister Srikanat Jena demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s saying the resounding rejection of the move to allow mining in Niyamgiri by the local tribals had proved that the Odisha government had sought to mislead both the Supreme Court and the Central government by submitting a false affidavit about the views of the people during the hearing of the case in the apex court. “The real face of the state government has been exposed after the tribals rejected the mining proposal. The Chief Minister has lost all moral right to continue in office,” he said at a press conference at Congress Bhavan in the state capital.
Protests in Delhi, London
Aluminium major Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL)’s plans to mine the Niyamgiri is currently in international focus with civil rights groups preparing to demonstrate against VAL at Marriott Hotel in London, the venue for the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place today.
In New Delhi, civil society organisations held a ‘Solidarity Rally’ in front of Odisha Bhavan, the Odisha government’s address in the national capital, and expressed their support for the struggle waged by the primitive tribes in Niyamgiri area. Eminent author and activist Arundhati Roy was among those who addressed the gathering.