Banks, shops and educational institutions stayed shut on Monday as people participated in rallies and raised slogans against the recent proposal into uranium exploration. All of Mananuru reverberated with ‘Jai Nallamala’ slogans as vehicular traffic was brought to a standstill on Srisailam highway in the morning.
Residents of the forest area and villages across Amrabad Mandal came out in scores to organize the road blockade, calling it ‘Nallamala Bandh’, a protest by political parties and people’s organizations against the Centre’s attempts to explore uranium inside Amrabad Tiger Reserve.
Revolutionary songs were sung while women danced to form a human chain. The spirit of defiance was followed by a sit-in at Ambedkar Chowrasta, blocking traffic that was headed towards Srisailam and Nagarkurnool, for a few hours. The protestors’ message was clear – they were not going to let the Centre exploit the forests they have always considered their mother.
The bandh was organized after locals received information about surveyors and scientists from Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research visiting the forest to obtain crucial data. This is not the first time such an attempt has been made as efforts have been persistent for decades now to somehow carry out mining activity inside the forests.