AAP objects to mining in Hasdeo forests in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Jan 29 (UNI) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday accused the BJP-led central government of enabling Adani Group to carry out mining in Hasdeo forests of Chhattisgarh without the required permission and against the norms.

“The BJP-led central government is granting all resources, including jungles, mines, airports, and ports, to Adani,” AAP leader and Delhi MLA Kuldeep Kumar said while addressing a press conference here along with the party’s Chhattisgarh State Secretary Priyanka Shukla.

Kumar alleged that the BJP Government at the Centre has given access to the vast and dense Hasdeo Jungle in Chhattisgarh to Adani for coal extraction.

“Cutting of trees in Hasdeo Jungle is underway for coal mining. While the 5th Schedule of the Constitution clearly states that if forests are cut or coal is extracted anywhere in the country, obtaining permission from the local Gram Sabha is mandatory. In the case of Hasdeo Jungle in Chhattisgarh, a fake NOC from the Gram Sabha has been submitted,” he claimed.

“Opposed to this, the tribal people of the Gram Sabha have initiated a campaign to save the jungle and the environment. The Adivasi (tribal) brothers and sisters of Chhattisgarh are fighting to preserve their forests, while the entire government is interested in cutting down these jungles to benefit a big industrialist,” Kumar said.

“Hasdeo Jungle is an area with dense forests in central India. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are states with dense forests in the country. In Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Jungle, not just one or two, but more than 4 lakh trees will be cut. Over the past year, more than 50,000 trees have already been felled,” Shukla said.

“People usually think this is Chhattisgarh’s fight. But it is not just Chhattisgarh’s. It is the entire country’s battle. Today, there is a crisis of climate change across the country and the world,” she said.

“It is said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no friends, so he talks about the country. But nepotism is prevailing throughout the country. This nepotism is dominating Chhattisgarh today, and efforts are being made to ruin Chhattisgarh,” Priyanka alleged.

The people of Hasdeo Jungle have been fighting this battle for a decade, she said.

“Following the Supreme Court’s orders, a study of the Hasdeo Jungle was conducted. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), working under the central government, clearly stated in its joint study report that mining should not be conducted here. If mining occurs, it will have severe consequences, escalating conflicts between elephants and humans, as forests will be diminished,” the AAP leader from Chhattisgarh said.

“After opposition from tribal communities, the Governor, Gram Sabha, and WII, the Modi government is still working to benefit Adani,” she alleged.

“When the BJP was in opposition in Chhattisgarh, they criticized the state government. Now, when BJP is in power, instead of taking action, they blame the previous government for the situation in Hasdeo Jungle,” she added.

“Often, the BJP talks about religion and faith. In the Hasdeo forests of Chhattisgarh, Hindus live, and they also have their faith. The tribal community worships nature, performing rituals for water, forest, and land. Boodha Dev is considered the deity of the local community, and the forest is their sacred place. People there also worship Lord Rama. The same forests where Lord Rama spent 14 years in exile, the BJP is cutting down today,” Shukla said.

The AAP appeals to the central and Chhattisgarh governments to immediately stop mining in Hasdeo forests. There is also an appeal to the people of the country to go and see the current situation of Hasdeo forests, she further said.

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