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Karat slams Centre, AP govt over mining in Vizag tribal areas

Visakhapatnam: CPM leader and Rajya Sabha member Brinda Karat today alleged that the Union Government and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu were trying hard to promote bauxite mining in the tribal areas of the Visakhapatnam district.

Addressing a public meeting at Chintapalle, organised by AP Girijan Sangham, she said the White Paper released by Naidu recently told a big lie that Jerrela region was not inhabited by the tribals and the local panchayat had passed a resolution approving the mining.

JC Kala Committee (set up to study the issue) did not visit any of the 244 villages that would be affected by the mining and submitted a false report that there were no tribals in the area, Karat claimed.

“People will offer stiff resistance if the government went ahead with the mining violating laws and going against the wishes of the local people,” she warned.

Under the Constitutional scheme, non-tribals are not entitled to property ownership in the tribal areas, she pointed out, adding “as per the Forest Act, all the tribals must get the title deeds of their lands for enjoying the cultivation rights”.

District CPM leader Ch Narsinga Rao said the TDP government was misleading the people by announcing that the bauxite mining would benefit the local tribal population.

Nowhere in the country the tribals were benefited by the mining, he said, adding “it is the private sector that is reaping rich benefits from the mining”.