Sand mining related deaths in Jatpura Village, Garhwa district, Jharkhand, India

In May 2017 villagers in Jatpura, about 260 km from Jharkhand state capital Ranchi, tried to stop workers from lifting sand from a river bed. There was a clash with several deaths.


In one of multiple incidents in India because of sand mining in rivers [6], on 19th May 2017 there were reports that villagers in Jatpura, about 260 km from Jharkhand state capital Ranchi, were trying to stop workers from lifting sand from a river bed, and that there had been a clash with several deaths.[1] [7] According to police, the villagers were opposing the sand mining in Jatpura village in Garhwa. Sanjit Singh, who had been awarded the sand mining contract, allegedly opened fire at the villagers. In the firing, three members of a family were killed [2].

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Basic Data
NameSand mining related deaths in Jatpura Village, Garhwa district, Jharkhand, India
SiteGarhwa district
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSand mining by relatively small contractors using heavy machinery (JCBs) in local river called Banki in Piprighat, Garhwa district, Jharkhand leading to complaints by villagers.
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2017
Relevant government actorsDistrict commissioner
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAwaaz Foundation
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Property damage/arson
Complaints because of desecration of cremation grounds by the river
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Noise pollution
OtherHeavy machinery in river beds leading to floods
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Court decision (undecided)
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Sand mining has not stopped in the area, in the village of Japura it stopped. There are several court cases pending because of deaths.
Sources and Materials

(3). The Guardian, 30 Dec. 2017, Michael Safi. Villagers pay tragic price as Indian building boom drives demand for sand. Last May three men from one family were shot dead, victims of the violence that has spread as local people protest against miners
[click to view]

(1) Four killed in eastern India as villagers protest sand mining. Thomson Reuters. Jatindra Dash
[click to view]

(4) The Telegraph, 21 May. FIRs lodged in sand mining row

- Villagers, contractors up the ante. Our Special Correspondent.
[click to view]

(2) Three killed over sand mining dispute in Jharkhand. IANS. Ranchi.
[click to view]

(7) Three of family gunned down in Garhwa district of Jharkhand.
[click to view]

Media Links

(6) SANDRP. South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. Illegal Sand Mining 2017: Rivers Continue To Lose Mindless Mining Battle (report on India as a whole). 19, 2017 by SANDRP
[click to view]

Other Documents

From The Telegraph. A sand mining truck on fire.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJoan Martinez-Alier and Brototi Roy
Last update05/01/2018