Visakha Agency observed bandh on Saturday demanding the State government to withdraw its GO No. 97 issued on Thursday facilitating mining of bauxite ore in Jerrela blocks in Chintapalli mandal.
Girijans who are opposing bauxite mining proposal in the Agency for the last two decades, supported the bandh, which was the first protest involving the entire Agency after the GO was issued and went off peacefully.
CPI(M), CPI, YSR Congress, BSP and their affiliated units enforced the bandh while the BJP leaders and cadre also joined them. Public and private transport went off the roads, shops, schools and colleges were closed. Mandal headquarters of the 11 mandals in particular saw a total bandh.
Telugu Desam leaders and workers who are facing a severe crisis as their party government issued the GO, too participated in the bandh.
At Paderu former Tribal Welfare Minister M. Manikumari and others staged a protest by standing on their knees.
They wanted Penna group’s Pratap Reddy to withdraw his investment in the bauxite mining project and close the alumina refinery at Makavarapalem near Narsipatnam, that was almost completed.
Villagers of Kondrupalli near Jerrela held a meeting and burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trees were cut and placed across the road at Anantagiri and some local Girijans were taken into custody.
All tourist spots in the Agency area were closed and the tourists had faced difficulties in finding eating places which were opened only in the afternoon and getting transport.
Meanwhile, tormer MP from Parvathipuram D.V.G. Sankar Rao described the GO on bauxite mining unconstitutional in scheduled area and against the TDP’s poll promise.
Mr. Sankar Rao, a professor of Anaesthesiology in MIMS, flayed the government for ignoring 1/70 Act and also the ecology. He wanted the government to withdraw the GO to protect rights of tribal people.