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Novel protest against Centre’s decision to allow coal mining in Dehing Patkai
Staff Correspondent

The sand sculpture at Nimatighat, in Jorhat. – Photo: Wasim Rahman
 JORHAT, May 26 - Two members of Dikh, a prominent socio-cultural organisation here on Sunday lodged an unusual protest against the Central Government’s (National Board of Wildlife) decision to allow coal mining by Coal India Limited in the proposed Reserve Forest of Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary in Upper Assam, by making a sand sculpture on the bank of the Brahmaputra at Nimatighat here.

 Dikh secretary Gaurav Borthakur said that Troilakya Baruah and Tridip Sonowal, both Dikh members, made a work of art on sand by depicting future damages to the environment and wildlife by allowing coal mining in the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Borthakur said that members of Dikh by maintaining social distancing and adhering to other safety norms under COVID-19 pandemic rules staged the protest by holding placards and stood nearby the two artists who made the sand sculpture.

He said that making the sand sculpture was an attempt to create more awareness among the people towards the issue of granting permission to mining at Dehing Patkai by depicting the adverse impact the decision will have on the flora and fauna of the region, which in all probability will be an irreparable loss.

Borthakur hoped that this unconventional form of protest could draw attention of the general people and also provide moral support to nature and wildlife conservationist groups in intensifying the protest.

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