Local miners deplore cases, call for action against wildlife officials

Local miners deplore cases, call for action against wildlife officials

The leaders of Chamber of Mine and Mineral Developers Nagarparkar have termed the registration of FIRs against 23 persons on the charges of occupying land of the wildlife sanctuary as a cruel joke and claimed that the action was part of bigger conspiracy to push local and small investors to the wall and pavy the way for the business tycoons of the major companies to occupy the resources of Parkar region.

Ghulam Mohammad Samoon, Sher Mohammad Rahimoon, Wali Mohammad Khaskheli, Rasool Bux Samoon, Ghulam Mohammad Rahimoon, Mohammad Iqbal Memon, Ali Mohammad  and others said at a press conference in Thar Press Club in Mithi  that Parkar region had become attractive for big investors after recent discoveries of gold, iron, bentonite, china clay and other minerals in the area and they were now resorting to ugly tactics by using the authority of the wildlife department to occupy the lucrative resources.

They said that they were doing their business in Parkar region after complying with all legal formalities and urged authorities concerned to take notice of the false cases, harassment of local leaseholders and attempt to deprive them of their rights.They said that as many as 125 leases for china clay had been issued to different firms and individuals by officials of the mines and mineral department in the 1990s. These leaseholders paid rent and royalty to the government on regular basis and employed about 20,000 workers in mining for china clay, they said.They deplored that on April 16, 2021, Asad Mari, game officer of the wildlife department, got the two cases lodged against 23 leaseholders under different sections of The Sindh Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management Act, 2020.

They said that there were four dead persons and a processing unit among the 23 nominated in the FIRs and they had been accused of occupying state land.They said that the officials of the wildlife department had not consulted nor contacted the officials of mines and mineral department, neither did they inform leaseholders about implementation of the new law enforced recently before going to police.They said the cases had been lodged against selected leaseholders and more than 100 other leaseholders for china clay, bentonite, iron, granite and gravel had been spared owing to their being favourites of the officials.“The personnel of the wildlife department used different tactics to harass and malign the reputation of local and small investors to extract bribes from them.

They are peaceful citizens who have never committed any crime or violated any law in the past,” they added.They said the high-ups of the department had suspended three staff members for nominating dead persons but they had not withdrawn cases against them. They said that they had sought the protective bails from a Thar’s court and demanded the quashing of the FIRs registered against them. They appealed to the Sindh government to take notice of the false cases and asked private banks to financially support local leaseholders and help them process the minerals and produce finished products at local level that would create more job opportunities for unemployed Thari youths.

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