Adivasis launch 24-hour ‘Jala Deeksha’
Register their protest against the Polavaram project
Activists of various Adivasi organisations launched a 24-hour ‘Jala Deeksha’ in the Godavari at Bhadrachalam on Saturday to register their protest against the Polavaram project and alleged violation of the rights of Adivasis.
Members owing allegiance to the Adivasi Vidyarthi Sankshema Parishad (AVSP), Adivasi Konda Reddi Sangham, Nayakpod Seva Sangham and other organisations embarked on the ‘Jala Deeksha’, which coincides with World Adivasi Day.
Earlier, the protesters hoisted a green flag at Ambedkar Centre in the temple town to mark World Adivasi Day. They gathered on the bridge over the Godavari and shouted slogans – ‘Stop Polavaram – Save Adivasis’.
Speaking on the occasion, AVSP coordinator Madivi Nehru alleged that the Polavaram project would spell disaster for lakhs of Adivasis, threatening their survival.
“The Centre’s decision to go ahead with the construction of the project amounts to the blatant violation of the rights of Adivasis enshrined in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution,” he charged.
We have embarked on the ‘Jala Deeksha’ to convey our strong protest against the project, avert the impending danger of ‘Jala Samadhi’ (watery grave) and uphold the rights of Adivasis, he said.
Later, the protesters, including Mr. Nehru, Nayakpod Sangham leader Balakrishna and Konda Reddi Sangham founder M. Ramesh, launched the ‘Jala Deeksha’. Some protesters used a country boat to reach the spot.
Meanwhile, the activists of the CPI (ML-ND) and its frontal wings took out rallies at several places in the Agency in protest against the transfer of seven tribal sub-plan mandals of the district to residuary Andhra Pradesh for the construction of the Polavaram project.
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