Section 144 imposed

In a violation of the democratic rights of citizens, the District Magistrate imposed Section 144 in the Suliyari and Dhiroli areas of Singrauli on June 17th. The administration is now arresting the displaced people with the help of the police under pressure from the Adani company. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate has declared the area including 9 villages falling within the perimeter of the company located at Suliari, Dhiroli coal mine as a restricted area till further orders. According to the reports received from the ground level, the Singrauli district administration instead of taking appropriate action on the demands of the displaced people wants to suppress the poor, tribal people of the area by threatening them with police cases.  This is so that the people do not protest against the irregularities in the displacement against the Adani company and APMDC (Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Limited) 

The imposition of Section 144  is a  direct consequence of the demand for rehabilitation and resettlement for two coal mines by the people of Singrauli. On June 10, 2024, the local people of this area submitted a memorandum of their 34-point demands to the District Collector of Singrauli regarding the displacement of the laborers working in these two coal mines and rehabilitation colony Jatta Tola.

These mines are operated by the Adani Company which is forcibly evacuating houses in Suliyari and Dhiroli coal mine area of ​​Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh without rehabilitation. It seems like the administration has issued the said order in favour of the Adani company  prohibiting any kind of protest and gathering within the perimeter of the coal mines will be prohibited as long as Section 144 is in force. However, there will be no  pausing of coal excavation and coal transportation inside the coal mine.

Displaced people forced to commit mass self-immolation –

For the last 3 years, Adani Company and the administration have been talking about driving away the displaced people from the area without rehabilitating them. This time, the displaced people adopted a tough stand to get their demands accepted. On June 17, in protest against the magistrate’s order to impose Section 144, the local people threatened mass self immolation if their demands were not accepted. The displaced community has said that if no positive consideration is given to the 34 demands, then as per the date given in the memorandum, a mass dharna will be started by the displaced people in village Jhalri of Kabardol from June 17. This dharna is currently going on peacefully. On June 24, when there was no positive action from the administration, the displaced people stopped coal dispatch and protested.

APMDC gave Adani Company free reign in the coal mine-

Suliyari coal mine is a project operated by the Adani Company in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. Coal extraction for the Suliari block was started in March 2022. This block of coal mines has geological reserves of about 142 million tonnes of coal and is spread over 1298 hectares in the Singrauli coal fields of Madhya Pradesh. Which includes 259.239 forest land. The allocation of the coal block is a government-owned company called Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC). APMDC is rapidly expanding the mine.

This public sector company appointed a subsidiary of Adani company as the mine contractor. In technical terms, Adani company is the mine developer and operator (MDO). Nine villages are affected by the Suliyari coal mine – Amdand, Amraikhoh, Bajaudi, Belwar, Dongri, Dhiroli, Jhalari, Majhaulipath and Sirsawa.

Out of these 9 villages, 4 villages Aamdand, Amaraikhoh, Belwar, Sirsawa have also been displaced by Adani company’s Dhiroli coal mine. Dhiroli coal mine is also adjacent to Suliyari coal mine area. According to the local people, Adani company has not yet started land acquisition for Dhiroli coal mine, consent of the people is required before land acquisition, only after that the award is passed but Adani Company people are doing the fake work of looting the land of the tribals by distributing blankets and mosquito nets to the innocent tribals and getting them to sign a special consent form. And on the other hand, APMDC is building conveyor belts and roads from the land acquired by it to Essar Thermal Power Plant which has been acquired by Adani. More than 1600 families are expected to be displaced from Suliyari coal mine alone. The Andhra Pradesh Mining Development Corporation (APMDC) claims to have fully rehabilitated 400 families, but ground sources say only 25 percent of these 400 families have been rehabilitated. Many are struggling to get their due compensation. People who have been farming for generations and living on forest produce are facing poverty. There is a delay in building basic housing for rehabilitation. Faulty new constructions are collapsing. Meanwhile, the little compensation that has been received is also running out fast.

Adani Company’s aim is to grab tribal land –

As per the terms of the agreement with the mine-leaseholder, Adani company has been entrusted with the responsibility of not only facilitating land acquisition for the Suliyari coal mine. This also includes approving and constructing a rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) colony.

In fact, APMDC has not yet got possession of the coal mine, as people are still settled in 9 villages. Despite this, Adani Company has started mining work from Dongri village from 2022. Despite not having any information about official possession, Adani Company wants to forcibly vacate 9 villages by pressurizing the local administration and is demolishing the houses of some tribals with the help of police force. The report received from the ground shows that even before imposing Section 144, people are being implicated in false cases by registering police cases against them. People of Adani Company are cutting off all the resources like electricity of the villages, destroying water resources and blocking roads. The ruling police and administration are with Adani Company, there is no one to listen to the displaced people, due to this fear many people are migrating towards Chhattisgarh, causing further turmoil in the local community, which is already under stress of losing their homes and livelihood. Here the question arises that there is no one to listen to the problems of these innocent tribals. Are the ruling party and local administration working at the behest of industrialists like Adani?

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