Bastar tribals stage 'padyatra' to protest iron ore mining

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Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, May 17 (UNI) About 5,000 tribals took 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 private companies for mining as it could pose a threat to the existence of mountains as also the culture of local tribals.

Tribal leaders claimed that the mountains spread over about 40 km long and 10 km wide area possessed at least 300 crore tonne iron ore. The National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) had started iron ore mining in the area in 1965 with the cooperation of Japanese 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 SKB RN1505

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