By Alhagie Babou Jallow & Mafugi Ceesay
The People of Faraba on Saturday stormed the village quarry and had a tussle with Police Intervention Unit who were deployed to disperse a tense confrontation between them and Julakay Group, over mining rights at the village quarry.
The angry mob of mainly youths came out to stop the company from mining gravel, claiming that they are not aware of Julakay Group’s license to mind from the village quarry.
The angry villagers also contended that a cardinal principle about the granting of a mining license is that the consent of the community must be obtained but they claimed this was ignored in this matter since only the Alkalo and few people know anything about the license granted to Julakay.
They further complained that the mining company took private and public land such as football fields and converted them to access roads without proper compensation.
They called on the authorities to revoke Julakay’s license until all the concerns of the villagers are put into consideration, threatening to take legal and other steps on the matter if it is not addressed.
The angry youths out numbered the PIU officers who were sent to secure the quarry and a tensed moment ensured, leading to the police firing warning shots to disperse the crowd.
Our reporters tried to talk to the village Alkalo Nuha Kujabi but he is said to have been away since few a days before the incident.
However Alagie Sanyang the VDC chairman said they have learnt from the office of the IGP that Julakay Group is holding a valid license to mine in the quarry but his executive will seek a court injunction against all activities of Julakay Group at the quarry until concerns are addressed.
“We want his license revoked because the conditions attached are not met. But we are not going to use any force, trouble or violence,” Sanyang said.
No member of the Julakay Group was at the scene or available to talk to reporters but a senior citizen of the area who spoke to The Standard said Julakay Group are holding a valid license and the two sides should engage in negotiations to thrash out their differences.