Gadchiroli Nov. 20 (District Correspondent) In the early morning crackdown, the police suppressed the tribals protest agitation that has been going on for the last over 250 days at village Todgatta in Etapalli taluka against the 6 proposed iron mine.
Around 1,000 people from more than 70 Adivasi villages from across Surjagarh Hills have been protesting at Todgatta, a remote tribal village demanding that no any new mining projects be started in the district contending that these projects would snatch away their livelihood, spread pollution and destroy their religious places.
When the agitation has been going on continuously, despite rains, cold and heat, early this morning, a large amount of police force from multiple police stations dashed at Todgatta, the main protest site and whisked away all the protest leaders and important activists from the site. The huts of the protesters from where they have been continuing their agitation, were also destroyed by the police force, alleged Adv. Lalsu Nogoti, leader of the Damkondawahi Bachao Andolan.
The activists included Pradip Hedo, Mangesh Naroti, Sai Kawdo, Mahadu Kawdo, Nikesh Naroti, Ganesh Korea and others. The police conducted searching all their belongings. There has been a panic among the Damkondawahi Bachao Andolan because of this crackdown.
For the past two days, the police have released drone cameras in the region and has been filming around Todgatta. Some important activists like Lalsu Nogoti, Sushila Naroti, Rakesh Alam, Poonam Jetti, Vandu Uike, and Sainu Hichami are currently travelling for a program in New Delhi. Knowing this well, the police used the force and suppressed the agitation, alleged Adv. Nogoti.
Though these tribals have been protesting for the past 250 days, there has been close to zero support from any politician towards this protest, except a few, neither any government authorities reached the protest site to understand their issue. Now, suddenly, there is a huge crackdown despite the peaceful and democratic nature of the protest. This crackdown has come a few weeks after Adv. Lalsu Nogoti spoke virtually at the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
The police action has sent a shock wave among the tribals.