Tribals vow to oppose mining at Deomali hills

Koraput: A large number of tribals, mostly supporters of pro-naxal Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), on Monday vowed not to give an inch of land for mining by private firms at Deomali hills in Orissa`s Koraput district.

The CMAS supporters who gathered at Katulpeta village under Bandhugaon block in the Maoist-infested district made this announcement at a public meeting.

"Tribals have legitimate right over forest, hills and water of the area. Mining at Deomali will not be allowed at any cost. Mining activities will leave them (tribals) dry," said CMAS president Nachika Linga, who appears in the most wanted list of the police.?

On the land issue of Narayanpatna, Linga said, "As the government failed to solve our land problem, we were compelled to occupy land from non-tribals and distributed around 100 acres of land among landless tribals in Narayanpatna."

The CMAS during its land grabbing spree in 2009 forcibly occupied over 2,000 acres of non-tribal land in Narayanpatna claiming it to be their own which the non-tribals had taken by deceit.

Along with Linga, several leaders including revolutionary poet from Andhra Pradesh Var Vara Rao spoke in the meeting.

"The 14 demands put forth by the Maoists before the state government in exchange of Malkangiri collector are yet to be fulfilled. The government should try to fulfil the demands at the earliest or else it will be responsible for any untoward incident," said Dandapani Mohanty, who was one of the three interlocutors engaged by the Maoists for the release of the collector.