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Press Statement: Bellary Church Property Being Looted By Illegal Mining

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BELLARY, FEB 19:  With much pain and disappointment, we wish to inform the public about the manner in which the property of the Catholic Diocese of Bellary, situated in Sy. No. 9, of Ramgad Village, Sandur Taluk, Bellary District, is being illegally and forcefully mined and property looted.

In spite of repeated pleas to the relevant Government Departments, the illegal miming is carried on with the claimed active support of people in high offices of the Government.

The property belongs to the Catholic Diocese of Bellary. These lands are adjoining each other and are encompassed around by stone bunds. Four bungalows which are in a dilapidated condition are existing in the land. Church personnel resided in these houses for over 70 years. The ownership of the lands can be traced to the existing revenue records that are about 100 years old.

People apparently belonging to M/s Ranka International Pvt Ltd have from over a month, now and then, come to the land at Sy. No. 9, Ramgad Village and have illegally mined iron ore and have transported the same in transport vehicles. Upon questioning they have been extremely abusive and insulting and have claimed that they have the active support and backing of the people in the high offices of the present Government. Unfortunately, there isn’t much support from the administration to protect the church property.

To make the situation worse, the company claims to have obtained a mining licence from the Mines & Geology Department in respect of Sy. No. 9 owned by the Bishop of Bellary (The Catholic Diocese of Bellary).

This is a grave injustice that is being done to us and it appears from the circumstances, the properties of the Church are not safe anymore and are unlawfully encroached upon. We seem to be soft targets for such unruly constituents who with the support of individuals in the Government have taken undue advantage of the situation here.

We express our frustration in this situation and seek from the Governments for its kind intervention to protect the lands of the Catholic Community of Bellary and to ensure that justice is done.


Bishop Henry D'Souza

Bishop of Bellary



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