India: anti-mine protesters face repression

Maharashtra

Police in┬áGadchiroli district of Nagpur division in India’s┬áMaharashtra state broke up a┬áthiya andolan (sit-in) by local peasants and adivasis (tribal people) at the site of the contested┬áSurjagarh iron-ore mining┬áproject, and arrested six of the organizers Oct. 29.┬áGadchiroli is within central India’s “Red Corridor” of Naxalite guerilla activity, and local authorities accuse the rebels of stirring up the protests. Following a demonstration at the mine site earlier in the week, two attendees were arrested by a┬álocal police “special operations team”┬áas they departed, on charges of being Naxals. The mine at┬áSurjagarh, in┬áEtapalli taluka (subdistrict), is under lease by┬áLloyds Metals & Energy Ltd (LMEL). Since it┬ábegan operations in June, it has faced repeated protests from local residents over its ecological impacts and usurpation of traditional lands. (Times of India, ToI, ToI)

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