Staff Reporter

Obulpauram Mining Company under a cloud

Companies forcibly occupied lands by terrorising ryots with private armies

CPI to intensify the agitation if the government fails to act on the issue

ANANTAPUR: The relay fast protest launched by farmers of three villages in D. Hirehal mandal in the district, whose lands were illegally occupied by two iron ore mining companies, entered second day here on Tuesday.

The agitating farmers are demanding proper compensation to their lands from the mine owners.

Farmers from Obulapuram, Siddapuram and Malapanagudi villages are on the relay fast in the agitation camp in front of the Collectorate.

Speaking to protestors, district secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) D. Jagadish alleged that the State Government is keeping quiet on illegal occupation of assigned and private lands of poor farmers by the two mining companies for reasons best known to it.

Repeated requests made to the State Government on the issue failed to elicit any response while the mining companies are exploiting the rich reserves of iron ore in the assigned and private lands forcibly taken over from the poor farmers by terrorising them with private armies.

He alleged that Obulpauram Mining Company of the powerful Gali brothers and Bellary Iron Ore Company had illegally occupied about 400 acres of lands in the three villages.

In return, the farmers were paid paltry sums ranging between Rs.10,000 and Rs.30,000.

The managements of the mining companies had promised farmers who lost their lands of giving employment to atleast one member in each affected family, but the it remained a mirage so far, Mr. Jagadish said.

The CPI leader urged the government to make the mining managements pay at least Rs. 3 lakh per acre to the affected farmers.

The party will intensify its agitation if the government fails to act upon the poor farmers’ problem, he warned.