A Successful Protest Against a Chhattisgarh Mine Highlights the Failure of India’s Coal Auctions

“Our demands are simple – stop mining on any new land, level your overburden dumps, do the work you’ve promised in your CSR documents, if you’ve mined a farmer’s land, give her compensation and a job at the earliest, or don’t bother restarting the mine, because we don’t give you permission,” said Bhagwati Bhagat, an Adivasi activist who has been at the forefront of the agitation. “We’ve seen the worst with Jindal, we won’t put up with this over and over again.”

It had been 16 days since activist Kanhai Patel had last seen a morsel of food. Hundreds of Adivasi villagers in Kosampali, Chhattisgarh sat in rapt attention in their protest tent, watching every move of the Coal India officials attempting to negotiate a truce with tetra packs of juice in hand, so that the coal mine behind them could begin to operate again, after nearly two weeks of being shut.

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