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Stiff Resistance for Many Years

iron factories - Chhattisgarh, Raigarh District

 Women and men block the road.

January 2010 villagers from Saraipalli in the Raigarh district of the Center-Indian state Chhattisgarh blocked the road near a pump house of the Jindal iron factory. Ten years ago the company started to build a dam to make an artificial lake to collect water for their factory. By the stiff resistance of the villagers the plans were delayed for two years. Jindal promised the villagers one job at the factory for every family. But they never kept their promise. So people started actions to get their rights. For example: in 2005 they blocked all the three roads to the village and didn’t allow any official from the administration or the company to come in. more photos

This time the villagers demanded to stop the pumps supplying water to the factory. The people were so angry police officers instructed the company people to halt the pumps to prevent ‘law and order problems’. The villagers threatened Jindal to blow up the dam when they didn’t get the promised jobs within four weeks. They formed already several independent groups to prepare the explosion.
The District Collector, the highest official from the administration, understood the seriousness of the situation. He called the villagers, the company and people from the local organization Jan Chetana to his office. He told the company to provide the jobs.

 Sometimes people are very angry. They rush to the factory and put everything in fire.

Often the villagers blocked the roads. But sometimes they are so angry they rush to the factory, burn the office and demolish some cars. For example once when criminals working for Jindal beat up some lawyers visiting their village. And another time when a worker died in an accident at the factory. The company wanted to burn the body to prevent a serious investigation.



Go to next page: photo series about struggle at the Rabo dam
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Photos: Jan Chetana, Raigarh - Creative Commons