MITHI: The residents of village Warwai have announced to offer stiff resistance against any move by officials of the mining firms to forcibly evict them from their village.. Ahmed Amin Lanjo, Haji Sanaullah Rahimoon and other villager along with chairman of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Syed Mohammad Ali addressed the press conference in their village on Tuesday and vowed to resist any move by the officials of the mining firms engaged in the coal extraction in Block 1 of Thar Coalfields near Islamkot town.
They said that the executives of firms after erecting the fences around their village were now hurling threats at them to vacate their hearths and homes as soon as possible despite the fact almost all villagers were still to be given compensation for their houses and other structures. They said that officials had paid them half of the compensation some 14 months back and they asked them to wait for the next three days for the payment of the second installment which would still be paid.
” We entered into the written agreement that each married couple will be paid Rs 4..2 million” they added and said that now officials instead of paying the another installment were threatening them to vacate the the entire village without paying their dues” they said and made it clear that they would never leave the village even if they were paid of their remaining amount. The leaders of the villagers said that they were promised to get their compensation cheques within next few days but after the lapse of over a year they were yet to be paid by the executives and those who had struck the deal with them. ” The cost of everything has increased manifolds including the construction materials due to the steep rise in the prices and inflation so we will not agree to receive the remaining amount” they said.
The villagers said that they had decided to offer the stiff resistance if any attempt was made to forcibly evict them from their centuries -old village adding they warned that they were ready to lay down their lives for sake of them and their new generations, who were likely to be rendered homeless from their own lands due to the corporate greed to extract the coal without any planning of the resettlement policy under the laws of the land.
They said that revenue officials including DC Tharparkar instead of addressing their genuine grievances were also acting like the ‘managers’ of the firms. The villagers also lashed out at their lawmakers, who according to them, had always stabbed them in the back and were nowhere to be seen at their difficult times adding they requested the MNAs and MPAs from the district to visit their village and assure them of their support in their peaceful protests against the officials of the companies.
The villagers also complained that due to the fences around their village and thus restricting the movement of their and their livestock, massive extraction had made their lives miserable.The PPF chairman Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, speaking on the occasion, fully supported the claims of the villagers and assured them of their legal and moral assistance in their
struggle against what he called the greedy miners.
Mr Shah added that officials of the mining firms had unleashed the reign of terror on the villagers to continue their practice of the massive mining in different blocks of the desert district. The PFF chairman warned the officials of various companies to mend their ways anf stop treating the owners of the coal reserves as step-children.