Lanjigarh, July 30
Following the pattern set in the seven previous Gram Sabhas, the eighth Gram Sabha held at Ijrupa village near here today has also rejected the move to allow mining in the Niyamgiri hills considered sacred by the primitive Dongria and Kutia Kondh tribes living in its lap.
There were just four voters in the village, all of whom voted against the proposal to allow mining in the hills, sources said. With today’s Gram Sabha, the Kalahandi leg of the Gram Sabhas being held to take a call on the issue has been completed. The action now moves to Rayagada where four more Gram Sabhas are scheduled to be held between August 1 and 19.
In its order on April 18 last, the Supreme Court had left the decision on mining in Niyamgiri on local tribals whose rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) as well as their religious and cultural rights are likely to be affected by mining in the hills and had asked the state government to conduct Gram Sabhas to take a call on the issue.