Diamond hunters descend on Pathikonda

Pathikonda: The search for diamonds continues in various villages in Pathikonda constituency. However, it is not a new practice; it has been going on for five decades.

The onset of the rainy season prompts many families to leave their homes for diamond hunting in Kurnool district. People live in makeshift tents to try their luck. Gemstones appear after rain washed away several layers of soil in Peravali, Tuggali, Jonna Giri, Pagidirai, Girigetla, Amnebad and Madanantapuram villages in Pathikonda constituency.

Besides locals, several enthusiasts from neighboring districts like Anantapur, Kadapa and Prakasam of AP and Bellary of Karnataka are also testing their fortunes by going diamond hunting.

They believe that if they find at least one gemstone (diamond), their lives would change for the better. According to the villagers, local merchants and middlemen sell the diamonds procured from villagers at a high price to big merchants from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

There was a saying that earlier during the reign of Emperor Sri Krishna Deva Raya, diamonds were sold in mounds in these areas.

Even though farmers warned them and posted signs

By asking strangers not to enter agricultural lands, the search for diamonds continues.

This hampers agricultural activities as it is time for the farmers to plow the land and keep it ready for sowing seeds once the monsoon begins.

Interestingly, people from different places take shelter in bus shelters, schools, temples and choultries until the monsoon passes. Hunters sometimes continue to sift the ground at night using torch lights, as diamonds sparkle with the flashlight.

The farmers filed complaints with the concerned police stations during every monsoon, urging them to save their land from destruction. But no action is taken.