Chindwada / Narmada Valley / Jobat / Pune / Mumbai, November 5 : In a series of incidents various movements affiliated with National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) stood up to administration and state terror today. Bowing under the pressure from people and various quarters they have resorted to further illegalities and arrests. They have no answer to the truthful and peaceful struggles of people for their rights and justice.
Medha Patkar, National Convener was arrested late last night in Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh along with Mukesh Bhagoriya of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Rakesh, Devi Singh and others of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, who were forcefully evicted from Satyagraha site. Against this illegal arrest and administration’s refusal to allow any meeting with her lawyer or others Medha Patkar started hunger strike in the jail itself. She has slip disc and is in pain, a doctor was called for medical check up but she needs medical attention. Later in evening, City Magistrate K B Tripathi refused to accept bail application of Medha and ors citing administration pressure. When pressed to give in writing by layer D K Prajapati, Judge left the court. Lawyers have faxed a complaint with the bail application to the Chief Justice of Jabalpur High Court. As we write Collector Mahesh Choudhri has called for a dialogue with the activists. See details of the yesterday’s happenings here http://napm-india.org/node/818
Bail plea for Aradhana Bhargava was also filed today in Chaurai Court. Dr. Sunilam’s bail plea in Jabalpur High Court is yet to be filed. Preprations are ongoing at the moment. Situation in Chindwara continues to be tensed with police terrorising farmers and not allowing their entry in town or meeting with arrested activists.
Meanwhile, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Swami Agnivesh, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, Jan Sangharsh Morcha, National Forum of Forest People and Forest People, INSAF and other movement groups condemned the illegal arrest and high handedness of the police and MP government. People’s Union for Civil Liberties also apporached National Human Rights Commission seeking their immediate intervention in the matter.
Delhi Solidarity Group, AISA, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM and other groups have called for a demonstration infront of the Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi tomorrow, November 7th at 2:30pm.
Meanwhile, today Dayamani Barla’s bail application came for hearing but the Magistrate could not appear due to sickness. The matter has now been listed for November 8th hearing. Ranchi police has also now charged her with another case related to resistance against land acquisition for IIM Ranchi in Nangdi village, near Ranchi. Earlier in morning Dr. Sandeep Pandey, National Convener, NAPM went and met Dayamani Barla in jail and extended solidarity. http://napm-india.org/node/813
200 projects affected people arrested and produced in Court in Pune
In Pune, today 200 affected people from Wang Marathwadi dam, Lavasa Hill city project and 100 year old Tata dam in Pune district were arrested by police after they finished an hour and half long meeting with Divisional Commissioner, Prabhakar Deshmukh at his office. They had gathered infront of the DC office after giving adequate notice, but the DC refused to meet them. Later he met them after much persistence and gave assurances to take action on the issues pertaining to resettlement and rehabilitation for the Wang Marathwadi dam affected people who faced submergence in August and organised jal satyagraha against illegal submergence. DC also promised to provide the caste certificate to the tribals living in Lavasa hill city area whose land has been illegally acquired for the project. Activists also demanded action against the Lavasa corporation which is carrying on the construction in violation of the High Court and MoEF‘s stop work order. They also demanded that administration take action for regularization of 80 years settlements of the project affected people of Tata Dam in Lonavala area, since they have received eviction notices from the Municipal Corporation. It needs to be noted that Tata is holding 27,000 acres of extra land acquired from farmers but is not making available land for the projects affected families, who are now living in upper reaches of hills next to reservoir. However,, Tata’s have sold land to film stars and resorts for their profit, but district administration has refused to take action against this after many representations.
Suniti S R, National Convener, NAPM said that they will not seek bail from the Court and would rather go to jail. Activists continue to be in the Court as we write this.
Sion Koliwada, Mumbai Slum Rehabilitation Scheme Update
In a separate incidence, in Sion Kolidwada, Mumbai, Sahana group (Sudhakar Reddy’s) developer for the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme came under heavy police protection to fence the land including six houses which could not be demolished in May earlier this year. It needs to be noted that in May – June, Sion Koliwada faced demolitions and Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao activists were in jail for more than 10 days. Builders came today citing a court order and police provided them security on the same ground. “But what about other court order which says builder illegally got the deal in first place itself, why are you not taking action on that”, asks Madhuri Shivakar, GBGB activist who was herself in jail at that time. See NAPM’s earlier update on this issue http://www.napm-india.org/node/820 and http://napm-india.org/node/819
Narmada Bachao Andolan Reaps the Harvest at the Occupied Farm Land in Jobat
Today, nearly 400 quintal of Jowar and Maize produce was distributed amongst the adivasis affected by the Jobat and Sardar Sarovar dams. They have been collectively farming on the land occupied by the Narmada Bachao Andolan for more than a year now. NBA resorted to Zameen Haq Satyagraha in Jobat on the government agriculture farm since the adminsitration has failed to provide for resettlement and rehabilitation of the project affected people, inspite of several court orders and Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal. “We will continue to occupy the land and grow food on it until we get our due rights. Adivasis and farmers are being robbed of their possession and MP government is giving land tocompanies in investors meet. We will continue our struggle for rights of the people affected by dams on Narmada,” said Shrikanth of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
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