The Pioneer, 15th May, 2008
Pioneer News Service Bhubaneswar
Tribals belonging to 150 small villages residing in the Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi district, under the banner of Green Kalahandi, on Wednesday announced to sacrifice their lives to protect the hills.
The tribals, mostly Dongria and Jharnia, petitioned the Supreme Court submitting that they be heard before a final decision is taken on the contentious issue of extraction of bauxite from Niyamgiri slated on May 16.
Speaking at Press conference here on Wednesday, members of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti Jitu Jakesika and Dodi Pusika said if bauxite is extracted from Niyamgiri, it would adversely affect the livelihood sources of over 15,000 Dongria and Jharnia tribals. "We worship Niyamgiri hills and it should not be destroyed by mining," they said. Two former Union Ministers including Bhakta Charan Das and Srikant Jena were among those present.