Land given to ArcelorMittal belongs to tribals

Ranchi, Feb 18 : After the authorities identified 1,015 acre land in Gumla for ArcelorMittal’s 12 mtpa project, an NGO on Tuesday sought to know how the land was distinguished in a district covered under the Chhotnagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act.

"The entire land selected by the steel company comes under the CNT Act which protects tribal land from purchase and sale," claimed Dayamani Barla, who is spearheading the Adivasi-Moolwasi Astitva Raksha Manch against land acquisition in Gumla and Khunti districts where the steel major had selected land for its multi-crore greenfield project.

"The land is used either for dwelling or for agriculture since 1932. We will continue to protest against acquisition of land and will move to court if needed," he said.

Gumla Deputy Commissioner Rahul Sharma, however, rubbished the claim and asserted that the land identified for the purpose belonged to the government.

"The 1,015 acre land identified recently to offer to the steel major at the cost of Rs 12.39 crore is government land," said Sharma, who was till recently the director of state industry department.