Public hearing on MP’s Chukta nuclear power project cancelled


Shashikant Trivedi  |  Bhopal  May 24, 2013

Led by Ramon Magsaysay award winner Dr Sandeep Pandey and others prominent activists of the state, locals of as many as 38 villages restricted Mandla district administration to organise a public hearing on controversial Chutka nuclear power project.

According to activists, more than 4,000 villagers reached the hearing site at Chutka and stalled the process before it could take place. “The public hearing meeting has been cancelled today,” said a government spokesperson but refused to give details on next schedule.

According to the protesters, agitation against the 1,400 MW Chutka nuclear power project (450 km east from Bhopal) was boiling up. They are likely to intensify agitation against land acquisition process launched by state government.

“Locals now understand that this project poses several health risks and is not in their favour. As propagated by state authorities and champions, nuclear power is no more a cheaper option. If it is why United States has not come up with any new nuclear power project since 1979. After Fukushima disaster in 2011, most of the countries are now exploring possibilities in renewable energy sources. Why India is looking at nuclear option? Is it due to those private players of the US that have entered some suspicious deals with India? This project should not come up at any cost,” Pandey told Business Standard over telephone.

The NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation India Limited) plans to commission the Chutka project in Chutka which falls under highly seismic zone. Local administration launched a process to acquire land by issuance of land acquisition notices to local people. Reportedly, the administration has completed documentation formalities by ignoring the fact that the site and affected people are tribal and come under scheduled area, the protestors calimed.

Local people were protesting against the public hearing on Friday as they had been slapped a NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) report which is beyond their analyzing abilities. The hearing was called to invite claims, objections and suggestions on the project. “We will now intensify our protest under Chutka Parmanu Pradushan Sangharsh Samiti and would now stall land acquisition process. When they have not obtained environment clearances how can they acquire land?” said Sunil, another activist of Madhya Pradesh Jan Sangharsh Morcha.

 

India Palestine Solidarity Forum National Conference “Peace & Justice for Palestine”:


At the Aligargh Muslim University, India, JFK Auditorium on the 16th of March 2013.
Presided by Prof. Liaqat Hussain Moini (Gaddinasheen, Ajmer Sharif),
Inaugural Speech, The Pro Vice Chancellor Brig-Retd, S. Ahmad Ali, Dr Suresh Khairnar, Sandeep Pandey,
Key-note address, Feroze Mithiborwala, Putul ji, Dr. Mohibul Haq,Prof. Rakesh Rafique, Prof. Arshee Khan, Raziya Khan, Bhupen Singh, Rakesh Mishra, Shujaat Ali Qadri, Farha Iman,
Shahnawaz Warsi, Insha Malik, Homazade & Badar Khan.
This is the second National Conference that the IPSF has organized in India. The first was in December 2012..
Organized by: Mudabbir Ali Chaudhary, Muhammad Kashif Khan, Mehak Zaidi & Farheen Anjum.

 

Death of Anti POSCO activists. State is Sponsoring and Promoting Violence not the PPSS


State is Sponsoring and Promoting Violence not the PPSS

Punish the Criminals Halt Land Acquisition

New Delhi, March 3 : In the continuing saga of state violence and oppression, when nearly 6 platoons of police were present in the area for starting the forceful land acquisition procedure, bombs were hurled at around 6:30 pm on a meeting room of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, at Patna Village, Dhinkia, Jagatsinghpur, killing Manas Jena – Age 32 died on the spot. Two others Nabanu Mandal – 35 and Narahari Sahoo – 52 succumbed to their injuries, since police didn’t respond to their call for ambulances on time. Mr. Laxman Paramanik was critically injured and is undergoing treatment at the moment.

This act of terror is extremely condemnable and will not deter the spirit of resistance. It is also unfortunate that rather than taking action against the company sponsored goons, who have attacked in past too, the district administration has been spreading canards that the people died while making bombs. The history of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti shows that the movement has been non-violent and peaceful even when the the state forces and goons have attacked them with ferocity on many occasions latest being on February 3rd.

It need to be mentioned that the movement has faced several instances of state repression, document in a recently release fact finding report titled, “Captive Democracy”. The report says that “230 cases had been filed implicating about 1500- 2000 villagers resisting POSCO between 2006 and 2012. Most of the complaints have left the number of accused open-ended, which allows the police to implicate any person in any case, despite not being specifically named therein. A large number of these cases have been filed by government officials during times of peaceful demonstrations by the members of the PPSS.”

Shri Abhaya Sahoo, the President of the PPSS was arrested on two occasions and has over 50 cases registered against him, including cases when he wasn’t present in the villages on the day of the alleged offence. Manorama Kathua, President Women’s Wing of the PPSS, aged about 29 years has several cases filed against her and has been unable to apply for bail due to financial constraints and has not left the village in 6-7 years. These are just few instances of arbitrary actions of the police and the impacts of the same.

Hence, it is unfortunate that the state is again trying to criminalise the movement and forcefully acquire the land. The sacrifices made by the activists to save their land and right to earn a dignified living must be respected. The actions of Orissa government is in complete violation of democratic norms and principles of justice. As of now the environmental clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on January 31, 2011 stands suspended by the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) dt March 30 2012. The project does not even have a memorandum of understanding with the state government now, with one signed on July 22, 2005 having lapsed. So what is the basis on which the state is acquiring land for the project ?

The nation needs an answer for this continued brutality and loss of life and livelihood and constant harassment and complete disruption of normal life. People’s movements from across the country stand in solidarity with the struggle of villagers of Jagatsinghpur and condemn this barbaric action of the state government and company sponsored goons.

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Prafulla Samantra, Arundhati Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey, P Chennaiah, Ramakrishna Raju, Sister Celia, Suniti S R, Gabriele Dietrich, Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd), Anand Mazgaonkar, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Vimal Bhai, Mukta Srivastava, Suhas Kolhekar, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Seela Mahapatra, Madhuresh Kumar

 

#Immediate Release- Indefinite fast in support of demands of farmers-labourer


Lucknow, December 26 : The indefinite fast and demonstration in support of demands of farmers-labourers organized by Socialist Party jointly with National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Lok Rajniti Manch, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Rihai Manch, Special Teachers and Guardians Association, entered its fourth day today. Two social activists are on an indefinite fast: Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and Vice President of Socialist Party; and Anil Mishra, social activist.

The gap between the rich and the poor has widened even more, with salary scales of service sector increasing manifold and rising prices over the past years. We believe in the standard recommended by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia that the gap between the income of the rich and the poor should not be more than ten times. Also in a democracy everyone should be getting the same income. We demand that Wage Board should amend the minimum wage of labourers of unorganized sector to Rs 440 so that these labourers don’t receive wage less than the minimum income given by the government. As we know trade union is demanding a minimum income of Rs 11,000 per month for contract workers.

Even the election manifesto of Samajwadi Party had a promise that Farmers’ Commission will be formed to decide the minimum support price for farmers that should be no less than 1.5 times their investment. But the biggest question related to minimum support price is that how will it be implemented? Who will put a clamp on middlemen? The government should demonstrate political will and ban middlemen in matters related to farmers and extortion from the poor people. Be informed that illegal extortion done by three different segments from poor traditional artisans who take part in ‘Kartik Poornima Mela’ in Daliganj was brought to an end last week.

Yesterday former MP Iliyas Azmi said while addressing the indefinite fast and demonstration that Tariq Kazmi and Khalid Muzahid were arrested from Jaunpur and Azamgarh; and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) is lying by falsely stating that they were arrested from Barabanki. We demand that RD Nimesh Inquiry Report should be made public so that there can be clarity on this matter.

Representatives of Special Teachers and Guardians Association are participating every day in this indefinite fast and demonstration. Their President and social activist, Munnalal Shukla, ended his three days fast yesterday as his health was deteriorating.

This indefinite fast will continue till the time government doesn’t respond regarding the demands raised by this movement. Although we have informed Rajendra Chaudhari, Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, about our demands and this indefinite fast and demonstration, so far there is no proposition from the government to hold a dialogue.

DEMANDS

1. Unorganized sector should get minimum wage of Rs 11,000 per month or Rs 440 per day. Minimum wages should be linked to Consumer Price Index.

2. It is a matter of grave concern that during the last wheat purchase very few farmers could get the minimum support price of Rs 1285 per Quintal because of dominance of middlemen. The same situation is now occurring in the paddy purchase. We demand a CBI probe in this Wheat-Paddy purchase scam.

3. Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, the clause of 25% reservation for underprivileged children in all schools should be strictly implemented without delay.

4. Illegal extortion and bribes taken for appointments should be stopped.

5. Anti-farmer Maitreya Project in Kushinagar should be cancelled.

6. Innocent Muslim youth who are jailed in the name of terrorism should be released. We demand to make RD Nimesh Investigation Report’ public.

7. Special teachers should be appointed for differently-abled children (handicapped children).

8. Doctors including Dental Surgeons should be appointed in all primary and community health centres.

9. There should be a complete ban on tobacco and alcohol.

Apart from these, effective measures should be taken to curb and control inflation and corruption.

Kindly lend your support to the cause of protecting the rights of farmers, labourers, underprivileged children, by participating in this fast.

 

People’s Power Challenges State Power; Refuses to Bow Down to State Terror


 

Medha Patkar, Dayamani Barla, and others Bail Plea Not Heard Today

 

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.

 

Dayamani Barla’s Bail Plea Not Heard Today in Ranchi

 

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.

 

For details call : Madhuresh 9818905316 or write to napmindia@gmail.com

 

Letter to the NHRC- Seema Azad Case


Following is the letter submitted in Feb 2010, when Seema  was arrested alongwith her husband

Letter to the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi

We want to acknowledge you that Seema Azad, journalist, human rights worker and executive member of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), her husband former student leader Vishwavijay, and friend Asha, were detained by the police on Allahabad Railway Junction without any proper reason on Saturday(6th Feb 2010).  Both of them were returning from World Book Fair, New Delhi by the Reewanchal Express.  According to police they all are Naxalite.

Sir, the organization wants to highlight the background of detention.  PUCL has continuously raised the voice against the atrocity done by the police-Bahubalies nexus in kachhari region of Allahabad and Kausambi district on the sand mining labours.  Due to the pressure of politician and Bahubalies, DIG of Allahabad has framed many fraud cases against the labour movement leader.  DIG had banned the ‘Lal Salam‘ cited it as against the nationality.  PUCL had condemned the ban saying that it was natural address of Communist party.  According to PUCL ‘Lal Salam’ is a common address of labourer across the world.

Raising the cause of fighting labour against the illegal collection and illegal mining of sand in Nanda ka Pura village of Kausambi, the minister Seema Azad and advocate K. K. Roy of PUCL has issued a report on human rights violations.  In past one month the police and PAC jawans has unleashed the Lathicharge couple of times in Nanda ka Pura village.  Police had torched the local office of CPI (ML) New Damocracy in Nanda village.  And their leader were detained in the jail for several days in fraud cases.  The voice against them, doesn’t suit the mood of DIG of Allahabad and police.  Police doesn’t want that the voice should be raised by any organization against their working style.

The arrest of Seema Azad, her husband Vishwavijay and friend Aasha is done by the police in revenge.  Seema Azad has no connection with the Naxalites and she is working in the field of human rights for past several years.  She is also editor of a monthly magazine ‘Dastak’.  She has made reports on serious issues like human right situation in eastern Utter Pradesh, labour movement, SEZ, situation of Mushar cast and Encephalitis disease.  Vishwavijay, husband of Seema Azad, and his friend Aasha were active student leader of Central university of Allahabad for a long time.  They have strongly raised the concerned problem of students under the banner of ‘INQUALABI CHHATRA MORCHA’.  The persons which are naxalite, according to the police, are working in between students and labour for a long time.

Sir, in past also UP Police has threatened the leader of PUCL working for the human right concern.  PUCL has raised the questions against the encounter of Kamlesh Chaudhoury in Chandauly dated 9th November.  After that , in a press conference dated 11th November 2009, DGP Brijlal has articulated that “the action would be taken against the PUCL leader”(see Dainik Hindustan of November 12, 2009).  The Allahabad arrest of Seema Azad is a chain of the same retaliation.

Hence, we appeal for the prompt action in the matter and also we appeal that police atrocity and human right violation should be stopped.  We also demand that Seema Azad and her friend should be released as soon as possible.

- Sincerely

Vandana Mishra, General Secretary, PUCL, U.P.
Chitranjan Singh, National Secretary, PUCL
K.K. Roy, Advocate, state executive member, PUCL
Ravikiran Jain, state executive member, PUCL
Satendra Singh, Convener, People’s Union for Human Rights (PUHR)
Sandeep Pandey, winner of Magsaysay award and state executive member, PUCL
S. R. Darapuri, former police director, state executive member, PUCL
Anshu Malviya, Shehri Garib Sangharsh Morcha
Shahnawaz Alam, Organization Secretary, PUCL
Rajeev Yadav, Organization Secretary, PUCL
Vijay Pratap, freelance journalist and human rights worker

Binayak Sen and Anand Patwardhan urge Mumbai to support of Anti Nuke Protesters in Koondakulam


Binayak Sen

Binayak Sen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On  May 20th 2012 (Sunday), the An Urgent Appeal to the Conscience of the Nation on Koodankulam , signed by eminent Indians like Prashant Bhushan, Vandana Shiva, Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen, Anand Patwardhan, Admiral Ramdas, Lalita Ramdas, Narayan Desai, Surendra Gadekar, EAS Sharma, Ilina Sen, Sandeep Pandey, Aruna Rodrigues, Praful Bidwai, P M Bhargava, Achin Vanaik, Gnani Sankaran etc. were released in New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
In Mumbai, the appeal was released at 6.30 PM in Chaityabhoomi at Dadar by prominent human rights activist Binayak Sen and ilina sen and activist and documentary film-maker Anand Patwardhan. More than 70 people gathered in support of our freinds in Koondakulam.

      The appeal urges ‘the conscience of the nation’ – the people of India – to demand that the government immediately stops intimidating and harassing peaceful protesters in Koodankulam and puts a moratorium on reactor projects in the country and engages all sections of Indian people democratically in a wider consultation on the expansion of nuclear energy.

Sunday Suggestion for Mumbai- May 20th, a rare opportunity not be MISSED


Dear Mumbaikars

How about a Play and Protest on a  Sunday evening May 20th at Dadar, Mumbai

a RARE COMBINATION NOT BE MISSED

 Premiere-  "Shivaji Underground in Bhimnagar"

 

 

Premiere – “Shivaji Underground in Bhimnagar”

Most historical figures that we worship today were pro-human. However they have been usurped by different communities and their ideologies twisted to create rift in society and amidst its people.

This play is a new look at these figures and history. It is an attempt to relegate these well known symbols back to entire humanity and not just a particular group. It challenges the divisions in society using the idols that the society worships. Using historical figures it tries to make a comment on contemporary society.

Direction: Nandu Madhav
Concept, Music & Lyrics: Lokshahir Sambhaji Bhagat,
Venue: Yeshwant Natyamandir, Matunga, Mumbai
Time: 4 PM
Date: May 20th, 2012 Sunday.

for mre information contact-9323801194

From the theatre we proceed to chitaybhoomi dadar to voice are support to the koondakulam anti nuke protesters alongwith anand patwardhan, Dr Binayak Sen  and Ilina Sen and many other activists,  and artistes

An Appeal to the Conscience of Mumbai: No to Koodankulam, No to Nuclear

Dear Friends,

We are inviting you at Chaityabhoomi, Dadar. Mumbai on May 20th at 6.30 pm for a protest meeting to present “An Urgent Appeal to the Conscience of the Nation on Koodankulam”

This appeal is a reflection of our collective frustration and instead of being sent to the Govt, it will be presented before people of India.

It is already endorsed by prominent figures like Prashant Bhushan, Vandana Shiva, Lalita Ramdas, Partha Chatterjee, Parful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, Gnani Sankaran, John Dayal, Meher Engineer, Sandeep Pandey etc.

The appeal will be released in Mumbai by:

Anand Patwardhan- Social activist and Film maker

Dr. Binayak Sen and Ilina Sen – Human Rights activists

in soldarity
Coalition for Nuclear Disarmamment and Peace ( CNDP )
Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti,
Konkan Bachao Andolan
Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, ( Mumbai Unit )

for more  information contact-9757475875

An Urgent Appeal to the Conscience of Nation on Koodankulam


A warning to the TN Govt on Koodankulam

A warning to the TN Govt on Koodankulam (Photo credit: Joe Athialy)

 

Dear Fellow Citizens of India,

On the occasion of our Parliament, the pinnacle of democratic governance, celebrating its 60th anniversary, our hard earned democracy is being ruthlessly repressed and violently suppressed. Within the accelerated race towards ‘destructive development’ and the generation of nuclear power to fuel such ‘development,’ entirely peaceful mass protests voicing people’s legitimate dissent are brutally put down. The common man, woman and child are unheard. In utter desperation, people at large are surrendering their ‘Voter ID cards,’ the ultimate symbol of ‘people’s power,’ which is the essence of any genuine democracy. Can there be a more ominous way to dissent?

Much like the recent anti-corruption upsurge, various actions for social, gender and ecological justice and other struggles in various parts of the country to safeguard people’s rights for their lives, dignity, resources, and livelihoods, the people’s movement in Koodankulam demanding a safe future is facing callous repression from the government and continued apathy from the public at large. Disappointingly, our mainstream media also persists in under-reporting this genuinely populist movement.

People in Idinthakarai village had to end their 14-day long fast this week. It is appalling that nobody from the Tamil Nadu, or Central, Government came to speak to them, and that police strength in the area has been intensified, with every possible intimidating tactic –including taking away the food ration cards of agitating villagers.

We appeal to you in a state of urgency and desperation.

The debate on India’s energy future is far from settled. We will need broader consensus and greater persuasion to ensure that India opts for the safest, most sustainable people-centric energy future.

The reactor project in Koodankulam perpetrates too many unacceptable violations of norms and procedures. The agitating people are peacefully and persistently trying to raise several important questions – both site-specific and generic with regard to nuclear power – through all possible forums. Many independent experts and scientists have already emphasized the various dangers of going ahead with the Koodankulam reactors.

At this critical juncture, we urge realizing a wider consultation is necessary before continuing the large-scale nuclear expansion that this government is already deeply engaged in.

We entreat you to demand that the government immediately stop intimidating and harassing peaceful protesters.

It is imperative that we immediately unite by raising our voices to defend democracy and the ethos of our country. Unacceptable precedents like the outright repression and silencing of the Koodankulam people’s movement will have adverse implications for all future individual and collective struggles.

With best regards,

Prashant Bhushan
Vandana Shiva
Partha Chatterjee
Admiral L. Ramdas
Lalita Ramdas
Surendra Gadekar
Sanghamitra Gadekar
Narayan Desai
Anand Patwardhan
M G Devasahayam
Gnani Sankaran
Achin vanaik
Suvrat Raju
Saraswati Kavula
G Sundar Rajan
Adil Ali
Gabriele Detrech
Ramesh Radhakrishnan
R R Srinivasan
Sudhir Vombatkere
Jatin Desai
Sukla Sen
Vivek Sundara
Ram Puniyani
Shabnam Hashmi
John Dayal
EAS Sharma
Malem Ningthouja Chairperson, Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
Aruna Rodrigues
Pushpa Mitra Bhargava
Nagesh Hegde
Sudha S
Meher Engineer
Arati Chokshi
Ujjwala Mhatre
Preeti Sampat
Kabir Khan
G R Vora
Harsh Kapoor
Shri Prakash
Praful Bidwai
Chandra Bhushan Chaudhary
Gowru Chinappa
A K Ramakrishnan
Gita Hariharan
Kavita Krishnan
Indira Chakravarthi
Sajeer Abdul Rahman
Anivar Aravind
Asit Das
Priyamvada Gopal
Aflatoon
Kamayani Bali Mahabal
Shankar Sharma
Karuna Raina
Xavier Dias
Nayana Patel
Stan Swamy
Rajeev Bhargav
Ilina Sen
Soumya Dutta
Vivek Monteiro
Madhura Chakraborty
Shonali Sardesai, Senior Social Scientist, World Bank
Jaya Seal Ghosh, Actress
Nirupa Bhanger, Executive Director, The Anchorage
Vijay Bhangar, ITT Bombay
Sandeep pandey
Neeraj Jain

PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO SIGN

urgent-nationa-appeal-koodankulam

Immediate Release- Police atrocities on Farmers on Rise in M.P


PRESS STATEMENT

  • Police Atrocities on the Farmers and Nature Based Communities on the Rise in Madhya Pradesh

  • One Killed in Police Firing in Raisen; and 53 Arrested in Anuppur while protesting Land Acquisition

New Delhi, May 8th : Farmers and those dependent on the land and other natural resources are constantly at the receiving end of the police violence these days. Land conflicts are the order of the day and it seems they are here to stay given the corporates hunger for the land, water and forests for commercial exploitation and profit. We strongly oppose and condemn any such forceful acquisition of these scarce resources from people by the government and corporations. NAPM has demanded and continues to struggle for the repeal of the Land Acquisition Act and enactment of a national Development Planning Act. The proposed Bill which is now with the Parliamentary Standing Committee doesn’t address all the concerns raised by us, hope the Committee will take note of the suggestions given by us. India as a nation can only have a healthy growth and development if we look after the interests of the farmers, peasants, landless workers, dalits, divasis and those living on the margins of the society.

Police Firing in Raisen

We strongly condemn the death of Harisingh, 35-year-old former sarpanch, yesterday while a group of farmers blocked traffic in Raisen protesting the suicide by another farmer a day before and shortage of gunny bags. Bhagwan Singh Rajput, a farmer who was not able to sell his wheat for past several days, committed suicide in Barni Jagir village of Raisen on Sunday. It is ironic that while the farmers continue to die the state and central governments rather than providing relief and taking action are blaming each other. Farmers have been agitating since April 16th on this issue but finally it is the death of farmers which has nudged the governments to act. It is extremely unfortunate that the dead body of Mr. Harisingh was not handed over to the relatives after post mortem and police in their presence burnt it on their own. The situation is tense in the villages since police is making arrests and has imposed curfew in the region.

Police Action in Jaithari, Anuppur

In another instance on May 5th, farmers protesting against the forceful land acquisition and demanding higher compensation and jobs for the land acquired for the 1200 MW Moser Baer Thermal Power Plant in Jaithari Tehsil were lathi charged and arrested. Nearly 27 people have received serious injuries and many more are injured. Farmers here have been agitating against the land acquisition for a long time under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union. The land was acquired from the farmers at the rate of Rs. 65,000 per acre, whereas, the farmers have been demanding a much higher compensation rate. There have been ongoing negotiations but the company has failed to keep the agreement. Jagdish Singh, Rampal Singh and 16 more have been slapped with serious charges under Section 307 and others, while more than 150 people have been arrested.

Mose Baer is currently developing the first phase of 1200 MW (2X600 MW) for which it has acquired 996 acres of land including 93.6 acre of forest land. In the second phase they intend to add 1320 MW additional capacity. It needs to be noted that Anuppur district has a high tribal population (36.4%) and as per the clearance given they need to seek forest clearance under EPA, settle the rights if any under FRA. The Environmental Clearance was also challenged in the High Court citing irregularities and non-compliance with the PESA provisions since the land is in 5thSchedule. Anuppur is a water stress region but even then a thermal power plant of this magnitude has been sanctioned. The EIA report mentions that the 290 families will be displaced by the project but the status of Resettlement and Rehabilitation is also not known till date.

We believe there is a need to do a thorough review of the project, resettlement and rehabilitation, settlement of rights of the adivasis, if any, and pay adequate compensation to the farmers and others who have lost their livelihood due to the project.

Even as we denounce the heavy handedness and the police action against protesters we demand action and a judicial enquiry in both the instances and adequate compensation to the victims and stop harassing the farmers and unconditionally release all those in jail. It is unfortunate that while MP Government claims to be bringing in prosperity for all but the farmers and nature based communities continue to suffer due to large number of thermal power plants coming in Chhindwara, Singrauli, Jhansi and the dams on the Narmada and other rivers. It is high time that Chief Minster, Shivraj Singh Chauhan listened to the people and not sacrificed their lives for the needs of ‘development’ of the other regions. The attack on farmers and commons, and pursuit of neo-liberal policies will only severely impact the food security of the nation and also is a worrying sign for the shrinking democratic spaces for those protesting these.

 

Medha Patkar, Dr. Sunilam, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Anand Mazgaonkar, Bhupendera Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Vimal Bhai, Madhuresh Kumar

NAPM – National Alliance of People’s Movements
Tel: 91 11 2437 4535
napmindia@gmail.com | http://www.napm-india.org/