Raipur: Hasdeo Aranya Bachao Sangharsh Samiti on Friday organized the Hasdeo Bachao Sammelan at village Madanpur to commemorate the martyrdom of the first freedom fighter of Chhattisgarh, Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh and International Human Rights Day. Thousands of rural tribals of 35 villages of the region participated in this conference.
Addressing the conference, the convener Umeshwar Singh Armo said that the entire Hasdeo Arand is included in the fifth schedule area of the Constitution. PESA and Forest Rights Act empowers Gram Sabhas to protect their water, forest, land, tribal culture and customs. The Gram Sabhas of Hasdeo Arand have been struggling for the last decade to protect these rights.
Recently, after a 300-km padyatra, the Governor and the Chief Minister had promised to investigate and take action on the forest clearance obtained by making a fake Gram Sabha proposal of Parsa coal block, but without taking any action on it, the forest clearance was issued. Although its final order has been stopped by the state government, but the company is trying to get the project started illegally under pressure.
Through today’s conference, we request the state government to cancel all the allocated coal blocks, fulfilling its promise to save not only Korba district but the entire Hasdeo forest area.
Addressing the gathering, Bijay Bhai from Bharat Jan Andolan said that there is maximum participation of women in this meeting and this shows that we will not give up in front of dictators. We get the same inspiration from Shahid Veer Narayan Singh.
Sudesh Tikam from the District Farmers Association called upon Hasdeo’s movement to continue. He said that the tribals are the original inhabitants of this area and also the owners of water, forest and land. Today, on Martyrdom Day, it should be our resolution that we will stop the destruction that is happening in the name of mines all around the state. Many efforts were made to break Hasdeo’s movement but could not succeed in front of the power of the people. This power is inspiring the struggle of the people all over Chhattisgarh.
Com. Nand Kashyap while encouraging the people in the meeting said, “Today due to the long struggle this movement has reached the country and international level.
The Gram Sabhas of Hasdeo Arand involved in this conference took a pledge to protect the entire forest area of Hasdeo Arand and continue to protect their constitutional rights.
Sarpanches of all the villages of Hasdeo Arand, members of the district, members of the Gondwana Gantantra Party and members of Gondwana Student Union participated in the conference.