As you know, Greenpeace has been working in the Mahan region (Waidhan Tehsil) on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior. We have been working in the villages of Budher, Suhira, Amelia, Pidharwa and other villages in the region. The company, Mahan Coal Limited, has in the past tried to instigate the villagers against us, and also tried to threaten us to stop us from working in the region.
We wanted to bring to your attention the most recent incident. Yesterday, a white Tata Sumo with no number plate, followed our team in Amelia, Suhira and Budher villages in Waidhan Tehsil of Singrauli district, a photograph of the vehicle is attached. The vehicle was later parked outside the Mahan Coal Limited office, in Amelia village, Singrauli District. We believe this is done with an intention to intimidate our team.
We have been facing threat calls and people have been following our team since January this year, which we have brought to your attention. We had also filed a police complaint with the Waidhan Thana on 15th Janury 2012 citing details for the earlier incident when we have been followed and harassed by people in a yellow Nano car (again bearing no registration or number plate). We had filed a second police complaint on 18-3-2012 when we were followed by an Indica car (MP-53-TA-7085) and threatened by people.
The villagers in Amelia, Budher and Suhira are planning to get a resolution in their village Gram Sabhas on the 15th of August 2012 to claim community forest rights in the Mahan forests. This is a right the people have, and they are being intimidated and told not to fight for their rights. The villagers have informed us time and again that officials of the Mahan Coal Limited have been threatening them and intimidating them.
Greenpeace has been working on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and raising awareness on environmental issues in the region since June, 2011. It had undertaken a fact finding mission in the region along with eminent members like Justice Suresh Hosbet (Retd Justice, Mumbai High Court), Kalpana Kannabiran (lawyer activist), Paranjoy Guha Thakurta (eminent journalist), R Sreedhar (mines, minerals and People). The report resulting from this mission was published and released both regionally and nationally. We later held a public meeting to generate awareness on the Forests Rights Act (especially community forest rights) on the 6th of May 2012 in Budher village which was attended by M B Rajesh (Member of Parliament ) as well as representatives from the administration and forest department.
I request you to kindly take action against these people who are intimidating and threatening us and obstructing our travel and work.