Tribals of mandla

Tribals of mandla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday, 09 April 2012 00:21 PNS | BHAWANIPATNA

A public hearing on Niyamgiri hill was conducted on Sunday by hundreds of tribes under the banner of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti with the active participation of Kalahandi and Rayagada tribals at Jagannathpur village of Lanjigarh block. The tribals did not include any Government staff and company officials in the meeting.

The tribals ascertained that they are having their birth rights over the Niyamgiri hill and hence they won’t allow mining on their sacred mountain. Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti president Loda Sikoka welcomed the tribals and said that the hill is neither the property of the Odisha Government nor does it belong to the Central Government.

Loda said when the industries had not come at Lanjigarh, the tribals were living a peaceful life. Police sent many innocent tribals branding them as Maoists as it was anticipated that they would be involved in anti-project stirs.

Among others, Lingaraj Azad, Satya Mahar, Giridhari Patra, and Kumuti Majhi protested industrialisation over the properties of the tribals and vowed not to leave an inch of the sacred mountain.