After the BJP government assumed power in Chhattisgarh, the widespread tree-felling in Hasdeo Arand forest region has resumed. About 2.5 lakh trees are slated to be chopped in the forest, which will clear massive swathes of land for the Parsa East and Kete Basan (PEKB) Phase-II coal mining, where Adani Enterprises Ltd. is the official “mine developer and operator”.
The Hasdeo forest area spanning across Surajpur, Surguja and Korba districts, has a significant Adivasi population, and has been a focal point for the anti-mining struggle of the Adivasis, who are resisting the government-backed corporate coal mining. Earlier in 2022. After strong resistance from the Adivasi communities, the Chhattisgarh Assembly passed a unanimous resolution to designate the 2,000 sq km expanse of Hasdeo forests as mining free and was declared as the Lemru Elephant Reserve. This move has been reversed by the incumbent BJP government. With changes to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 being introduced in 2022, that has made it easier for governments and developers to acquire lands for mining and business purposes, without any consideration for local stakeholders, the clearance of trees has only exacerbated the oppression against the Adivasis.
Several Adivasi activists like Ramlal Kariam, Jayandan Porte, and Thakur Ram, were picked up from their homes and detained, whereas Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan’s convenor Alok Shukla and documentary film make Ajay TG were attacked by unidentified individuals on December 21st.
The repression and land grab in Hasdeo exposes Modi-BJP government's lie of protecting Jal, Jungle and Zameen of the Adivasis. CPI(ML) steadfastly stands in solidarity with the Adivasis in Hasdeo Arand and the rest of Chhattisgarh in their fight for protection of their constitutional rights, homes, livelihood and lives.