Stop the crackdown on the People’s Movement in Mahan
Write to Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs
Call for a free and fair Gram Sabha!
Update: The Supreme Court of India ruled on Monday that every single coal reserve allocated for mining in India between 1993 and 2010 is illegal.
The people of the Mahan community in India are facing a campaign by energy company Essar to build a coal mine in the very forest they rely on for their livelihood. It’s reported that Essar’s mining project expected to result in felling of about 400,000 trees. And while the community should have a say in this according to Indian law, via a democratic process called a Gram Sabha, they are facing many hurdles.
The district authorities, who promised to hold a Gram Sabha before August 22nd, keep postponing it.
The people of Mahan have no idea when or if they will be able to give their opinion on a project that will affect many aspects of their lives.
In a shocking case of intimidation two Greenpeace India activists were arrested just after midnight on July 30 near Mahan, India. Police entered the guesthouse where the activists were staying without search and arrest warrants.
According to Greenpeace India, the police also seized all communication equipment from the Greenpeace India office and solar panels from Amelia village nearby. This is believed to be part of a move by police and government officials in India to crack down on people who are standing up and opposing a massive coal mine in Mahan.
The activists have been released on bail but the intimidation continues. Now a smear campaign has started, attempting to paint Greenpeace India, an organisation with non-violence at its core, as advocating the use of force against the police. A claim that is absolutely false.
These attempts to silence and isolate Greenpeace India, an organisation working with the people of Mahan to save the forest, their homes, and their livelihoods are outrageous.
Please act now:
Ask Jual Oram, the Minister of Tribal Affairs, to intervene and stop threats and repression of environmental activism; and ensure a free and fair Gram Sabha!