On November 15, the establishment day of Jharkhand, about 500 villagers assembled in the field of Dhaneshwar Mahto of Arahara village of Barkagaon block of Hazaribagh district.
Under the banner of Azadi Bachao Andolan, Karanpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Janm Bhumi Raksha Samiti, Visthapan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti etc, they organised a meeting in which they decided to dig out coal deposit beneath their lands on their own.
Addressing the gathering the representatives of different social organisations of the country who had assembled here said that the villagers cannot be displaced forcibly form their lands.
Water, forest and land are ours and we will fight for it. In the meeting the orators talked about the judgment given by Supreme Court of India in case no 4549/2000 in which it has been stated that the ownership of minerals and ores beneath the ground goes to the land owner.
Representatives of organisations from Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, Bengal, Odisha and other states addressed the gathering and opposed the entry of multinational in their area. The villagers of Barkagaon and Karanpura block repeated their pledge to not give their lands to multinationals.
After this meeting, as per decision, the villagers started digging the land to excavate coal. Today they succeeded in digging out some tons coal from the land of Dhaneshwar Mahto. Mithilesh Dangi, an activist, said that now they will sell this coal and will remit the tax amount in government treasury.
It is noteworthy that the coal ministry had allotted coal blocks to about 35 companies for coal production from the Barkagaon-Keredari area. For it the companies about 67,000 acres of land scattered in an area covering about 200 villages. NTPC and Reliance are among these companies who have got coal blocks here. For Pakri-Barwadih project NTPC needs 16,000 acres of land for which negotiation are going on since last five years.
The revolution named Koyla Satyagraha which has just begun is going to create major problems in the days to come. It will not only hamper the future projects based on coal but also due to unscientific and unplanned mining by the villagers an atmosphere of chaos and law and order will give pain both to the country and the State.