MITHI: Bhave Jo Tar, a village of the Kolhi community, located in Islamkot taluka, has been virtually under the “siege” of Chinese coalmining companies as the firms placed a barbed-wire fence around the village, says a senior official in a letter written to the chief minister.
“There are 170 households of the Kolhi community settled on seven to eight acres of land in Bhave Jo Tar village. They all are landless peasants and farmers. Their fields are now owned by various coalmining companies and pasture lands are occupied by Shanghai Plant and Sino Sindh Resources Private Limited.
“The mining companies have placed a barbed-wire fence around their houses, which has disturbed their social life,” advocate Veerji Kolhi, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister on Human Rights, stated in a letter to the CM dated June 10.
He informed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah that the previous week, he had visited a protest camp of the village residents, listened to their concerns and later also visited the village.
“Two main roads — Islamkot to Thar Coal Road and Nagarparkar Main Road, have covered both sides of the village while other two sides are covered by Shanghai Plant and Sino Sindh Private Limited. The mining companies have placed barbed-wire fence around the houses of villagers,” he stated.
He informed the CM that previous year, the villagers held protest demonstrations for three months after which the relevant assistant commissioner, mukhtiarkar and representatives of the mining companies visited the village and filled survey forms.
“The concerned MNA and MPA had also visited the protest camp of affected villagers and assured them of redressing their grievances, but they never contacted later,” he said and added that “now the villagers have been again protesting for the past 22 days in the village.”
Mr Kolhi requested the CM for issuing orders to the revenue department for relocating the affected village to any other suitable place in Islamkot taluka where they could get all basic facilities of life.
He had also attached a list of 170 households and the owners.
It is learnt that the CM has forwarded the application on June 15 to a senior member of the Board of Revenue for necessary action. The member has written to local revenue officials to visit the site and report as soon as possible.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021