Bastar tribals stage padyatra to protest iron ore mining

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Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, May 17 (UNI) About 5,000 tribals have taken out a two-day 'padyatra' from Bhansi village of this district to protest mining of iron ore from Bailadila mountains.

Tribals from 25 villages under the banner of 'Adivasi Mahasabha' took part in the protest march, which concluded at Faraspal area today.

They demanded that the mountains should not be given on lease to the private companies for mining as it could pose a threat to the existence or mountains as also the culture of local tribals.

Tribal leaders claim that the mountains spread over about 40 km long and 10 km wide area possessed at least 300 crore tonne iron ore. National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) had started iron ore mining in the area in 1965 with the cooperation of Japan government.

''The government has granted mining lease to 96 industrial houses besides Tata and Essar, in Bailadila area'', the tribal leaders added.

UNI XC-KV SP 1336

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