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KSU warns centre not to use force to mine uranium
Correspondent SHILLONG, OCT 7:
Published on 7 Oct. 2009 11:26 PM IST
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The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), which is spearheading the anti-uranium mining in Meghalaya, has warned the Union government not to use military power to achieved its goal, to mine uranium in the state. “The centre cannot use military power to mine uranium otherwise it should first declare that we are no longer part of India,” KSU President Samuel Jyrwa said. Jyrwa, leader of the influential students’ body was reacting to Chief Minister DD Lapang’s statement saying that the Centre may use force to start the operation of uranium mining in state’s West Khasi Hills district. “It’s unfortunate, in the name of national interest, the Centre wanted to harm the rights of local indigenous people of the state,” the students’ leader said. Jyrwa added: “If government uses forceful means to achieve its goal, then the Union government should recognised that Hynniewtrep land as a sovereign nation”. He said that the government should realize that India cannot use forceful means in “Hynniewtrep land” as per the Instrument of Accession which the Centre would have no right to forcefully exploit the land which belongs to the people. The KSU which is opposed to uranium mining fearing outbreak of health and environmental hazards, demanded from the Meghalaya government to abrogate the cabinet’s decision to lease out 422 hectares of land for 30 years to Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for pre-developmental projects. The lease agreement, the KSU said was only a ploy of the government to start uranium mining in the district. “We will launch a massive people’s movement if the government failed to abrogate the Cabinet decision to lease out 422 hectares of land to UCIL,” Mr Jyrwa said. KSU has also called for one-day office picketing on October 9 in the state. The UCIL had proposed to set up a Rs 1,046 crore open-cast uranium mining and processing plant at Mawthabah in the West Khasi Hills district which has an estimated deposit of 9.22 million tonne of uranium ore. However, the government-owned mining company failed to drum up support for the project, with several NGOs and anti-mining, civil and human rights groups opposing the proposed mining.

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