Todgatta tribal’s agitation enters 70 th day-oppose proposed mining.

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Todgatta Andolan
The banners put up by the tribals at the agitation site.

Gadchiroli May 22 (District Correspondent) ‘Thiyya Andolan’ launched by Damkondawahi Bachao Sangharsha Samiti and Surjagad Area Gotul Samiti at a tribal village of Todgatta in Etapalli taluka on the borders of Chhattisgarh to oppose the proposed mining in the district has entered 70 th day and still has been going on uninterruptedly.

The agitation, in which thousands of people have been participating daily has been supported by various tribal organizations, Gotul Samitis of Bhamragad, Wenhara, Todsa, Ropi-Barsa and Gram Sabhas in the area. The Mulniwasi Bachao Manch of Chhattisgarh has also extended its support to the historic agitation.

However, no any political party in the district has yet declared any support to the agitation, nor the state government seems to have taken any cognizance. The Dy. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who is also the guardian minister of the district, had recently visited the district, but could not find time to meet the agitating tribals.

Adv. Lalsu Nogoti, one of the leaders of the agitation has asked whether these parties are in favour of the companies looting the water, forest and land by some corporates saying the very identity, dignity and existence of the tribals has been endangered because of the loot of the natural resources which is the main source of their livelihood.

The various laws enacted for the protection of the tribals such as Forest rights Act-2006, PESA-1996, Bio diversity Act-2004, Schedule V th of the Constitution of India are being violated by the government and the corporates. A systematic way is being prepared to enable the capitalists to loot the natural resources and mines by amending the Forest Conservation Ordinance, Nogoti has alleged.

In such a situation, the tribals and forest dwellers are fighting the constitutional battle in a democratic way single handed through this agitation. The tribals have raised the temporary plastic sheds to protect themselves from the scorching heat. The same sheds may help them in the coming days of rainy season. They have been cooking their food on the spot of the agitation by collecting the food grains from their houses and carrying on the agitation for such a long period of time.

The students also have been participating in the agitation in large numbers. The students are being guided on their studies and career during the agitation by holding special sessions.

Terming it as the fight of the self-respect and existence of the tribals, Adv. Nogoti, on behalf of the agitating tribals, has made a public appeal to the political and social organizations to extend their support to this agitation.

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