Tribals rise up against mining 'loot' by Dharmana's son

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Tribals rise up against mining 'loot' by Dharmana's son
Tribals rise up against mining 'loot' by Dharmana's son


Another illegal mining ‘scam’ rocks the district administration with law and order problem. The failure of the government to act on the tribals’ representations made at the launch of Racha Banda has now erupted in Seethampeta, the seat of the controversial granite mines, which witnessed riotous scenes between the angry Tribals and the police on Friday. 


The Tribals had made a representation to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at the venue of the launch of Racha Banda on January 24, seeking the government to look into the issue of exploitation of granite mines and the Tribals’ rights by the high and mighty.

The representation was made by local tribals in the presence of Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao. The representation left the Chief Minister embarrassed and he could not react on the 'appeal' much to the dissatisfaction of the enthusiastic applicants. The issue was left hanging fire still.

The Tribals believe that the man behind the shady deals is Mr Dharmana Prasada Rao himself. They believe that he has been managing to change the survey numbers so that his son could have a free run over the granite field.

The 'illegal' quarrying of valuable granites in the Girijans' lands in Srikakulam district granted to the son of Mr Prasada Rao has become a focal point of criticism.

The granites were given away at the behest of the Minister. In order to cover up his shady deals, the Minister is believed to have supported the sycophant officers to effect changes in the Survey numbers of the hills to suit his son's needs.

The Tribals again met Minister for Mines Galla Aruna Kumari, when she visited the area on Saturday.

Having heard them, she denied any knowledge of the issue saying that the Mines Ministry was a new portfolio allotted to her recently.

The Minister also assured the Tribals that once she is back in Hyderabad, she would try to go through the files and peruse the matter in detail. She expressed her inability to do anything till then, to the Girijans.

When the Tribals informed her about the leases granted to the then revenue minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, Ms Aruna Kumari replied that no one would be spared if found violating the rules.

The issue later took the shape of a law and order problem with the Girijans firmly opposed to the son of the minister 'looting' of the said quarry granites. The protestors said that Dharmana Ram Manohar Naidu was allotted the granite mining rights when his father was Revenue Minister during the previous regime.

This was done despite Sithampeta Tahsildhar Chandrasekhar's report to the Assistant Director of Mines Koteshwara Rao that the Kannedhara hills, the controversial leased area, was very dear to the Girijans and that it should be left untouched.

The Tahsildhar also pointed out that the Project Officer, Integrated Tribal Developmental Agency, ordered that 'tenancy' of quarry, in Survey No 289 in which Seethampeta mandal falls, should not be leased out against the interests of locals.

The quarry tenancy was granted to Minister's son despite opposition from the district Collector Srikanth, Palakonda RDO, ITDA, PO.

The Girijans clashed with the officers concerned which resulted into a full-scale war between the angry locals and the local sycophant officers on Friday.

Tension mounted with firing and lathi charge on the innocent Girijans, who were allotted lands in over 1100 acres over the hills, which also came to be regarded as a 'holy' centre.