Call to Join the virtual march for land rights!


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Dear friends,

On October 11th 2012, the Indian people‘s movement Jan Satyagraha (Sanskrit meaning “peaceful soul force”), secured far-reaching promises from the Indian government for desperately needed land reform to help the poor and marginalised, but only after 50 000 people had marched towards Delhi. They now stand on the cusp of making those promises come to life.

The government is on a deadline to deliver by April 11th; six months to the day from the original agreement. There are a few critical meetings coming up. The first has been called by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for April 6th. The Revenue Ministers from all the States will gather to discuss how – or even if – to implement the 10-point land reform plan.[1] After that, the National Land Reform Committee will meet on April 11th. If they do not deliver a strong action plan at this meeting, the Jan Satygraha will march again.

In anticipation of these meetings, the Jan Satyagraha movement is calling on all of its supporters in India and around the world to bring a new, global aspect to their struggle. International social movements such as /The Rules have committed to help build a virtual Jan Satyagraha to bring international pressure at this crucial moment. The Indian Government has agreed in principle to enact the reforms, let’s make sure they keep their promise.

Add your name here to join the virtual Jan Satyagraha ahead of the meeting in April, calling on the Indian Government to adopt these crucial reforms under the following Link:

www.therules.org/en/actions/land-virtual-march

The agreement includes measures that will mean millions of people can start supporting themselves on their own small plots of land. It will give fresh life to long neglected legislation that should be protecting the rights of poor and marginalised communities, like the Land Reform Acts from the 1950s and the more recent Forest Rights Act of 2006. Most importantly, it will require state and national governments to work together in new ways to ensure landless poor and marginalised people can secure their rights.

For the first time ever, people who don’t have email can also join this global campaign by placing a free missed call to+91 (113) 0715-351 to register their support. All the emails and missed calls will be brought together in symbolic marches in key cities around the world in the run up to the meetings, including Rio, New York, Nairobi, Mexico City, Cape Town, Sydney and Lagos.

These proposals could mean the difference between life and death for millions of people. Make sure the Indian government delivers on its promises.

In hope,

Ekta Parishad

 

 

 

Immediate Release-Medha Patkar and Activists Detained in Chindwada, Start Satyagraha


Kisan Sangharsh Samiti Intensifies Agitation; Support Pours in From Across Country

Chindwada, November 4 : The situation in Chindwada continues to remain tense with heavy police presence deployed to intimidate the farmers, labourers and adivasis protesting illegal commencement of work on the Pench Water Diversion Project.

Medha Patkar, National Convener, NAPM who travelled from Indore and Chindwada and reached in the wee hours today was stopped and checked at virtually every station by the police and also surrounded by 50 police men at the Chindwada station, where the Tehsildar and other officials tried to restrain her from proceeding further, insisting that she must go to the Circuit House.

She was told that Sec 144 has been imposed in Chindwada and the entry of people in three tehsils of Chhindwada, Amarwada and Chouri has been prohibited from October 30th – orders have been issued. When asked for the copy of the same she was denied that. This is baseless and illegal, since on Novembr 3rdShri Sartaj Singh, Forest Minister, GoMP held a public programme distributing tendu patta bonus, same day BJP Kisan Morcha also held a convention in Chourai. At the same time Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mela was organised as well as adventure sports programme was organised too in Tamiya. “Is the Section 144 for only for activists going to Bamanwara?” asked Medha Patkar.

A huge police force has gheraoed the house of Adv. Aradhana Bhargava, leader of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, who was arrested on false charges under Sec 151 IPC on November 3rd itself and has been sent to judicial custody. Today police also arrestedBrajkishore Chaurasia, Yuva Kranti Dal and Dr. Rajkumar Sanodia of KSS.

The farmers and people are not being allowed to meet Medha Patkar and others by the police. Protesting the high handedness of the district administration Medha Patkar along with Mukesh Bagoria, Rahul Yadav of Narmada Bachao AndolanAdvocate Sushma Prajapati, Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Kisan Mahapanchayat, National Vice President; Devaki Marawi and Rajesh Tiwari of Bargi and Bheemgarh Bandh Visthapit Sangh; Jameel Khan of KSS and other representatives of the Pench Project and Adani Power Project affected families have sat on Satyagraha, until they are allowed to proceed to the villages.

It needs to be noted that for past few days police has been spreading canards and terrorizing them too. Even then villagers have been protesting at Vamanwada, 3 kms away from Machagora and have been on a peaceful sit in. More than a thousand police men are surrounding the dharna site. The agitation will continue until the forceful and illegal eviction and acquisition of land is stopped.

NAPM has decided to extend complete support to the struggle and in absence of Dr. Sunilam and Aradhana Bhargava, (both are NAPM Conveners) Medha Patkar and others will lead the struggle in Chindwara and Multai and fight for the rights of farmers and farm workers.

Support has been pouring in from different movements across the country. Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat, State Advocate D K Prajapati,Madhya Pradesh Pensioners Association, State Secretary T M R Naidu, Samta Party State President Suresh Sharma, Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Kisan Mahapanchayat President Shri Chand Chauriya, Azadi Bachao Andolan, Chindwara J L Mishra, Ashok Choudhary and Roma from NFFPFW, Anurag Modi of Jan Sangharsh Morcha, Madhya Pradesh and others have condemned the incidence and lent their support to the movement.

Background : It needs to be noted that agitation against these two project Pench Water Diversion Project (PWDP) and Adani Pench Power Project (APPP), Chindwara has been ongoing in a peaceful manner since 2004. PWDP involves construction of a 51 meter dam on Pench river, submerging 5600 Hectares of land of 31 villages. The project planned in 80s got a one page clearance from Department of Environment in 1984 (MoEF was not there then) for irrigation purposes. The clearance is no longer valid and requires a fresh clearance under Environment Protection Act 1986 and also under EIA notifications. Acquisition process was started back then, some farmers were given throw away compensation but acquisition process was never completed since the work didn’t start. Till today farmers continue to cultivate and grow 2-3 crops in a year from the fertile land.

After the agitation, the compensation was increased to nearly a lakh rupee an acre but 90 percent of the farmers have refused to accept it and are not willing to part their land. In 2011, May Dr,. Sunilam and Adv Aradhana Bhargava were attacked by the goons which they survived but the administration failed to take any action. Many of the farmers in fact along with Aradhana Bhargava spent more than a week in jail on false charges of arson, loot and obstructing public officials.

PWDP today is to be constructed for supplying water to the APPP, diverting water meant for the farmers. Last year KSS along with NAPM met Environment Minister, Ms. Jayanti Natarajan , who informed the delegation that no clearance has been granted to the PWDP and under the law they are supposed to have prior Environment Clearance. The PWDP is going to threaten the forests of Pench National Park and Tiger Project too. So, in all senses it makes no sense to be constructing this but even then MoEF has not taken any actionMr. Kamal Nath, MP and Union Minister from Chindwara has been personally involved in ensuring that the project goes on and been supporting the APPP as well. Madhya Pradesh Government on the other hand has been in complete hand in glove with Mr. Kamal Nath. It is no wonder that Dr. Sunilam and other activists of KSS got life sentence in a case where 24 farmers were killed by police on January 12, 1998. None of the police officers have been punished till date, not a single FIR has been filed in that case. It is a clear case of conspiracy and collusion between BJP and Congress in the interest of Adani.

 

For details call NAPM : 9818905316 or 9179617513

 

PRESS RELEASE–M.P. Govt must stop betrayal of thousands of project-oustees


 

 

 and respond to the Jal and Jammen Satyagraha

The farmers, labourers, potters and fish workers in the Sardar Sarovar affected areas, many of whom are also affected by the canals of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects and those affected by the Jobat Dam warn the Government of Madhya Pradesh against its totally insensitive attitude and illegal moves, destroying the lands and livelihoods of thousands of oustees affected by the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects. We stand by the nature based communities, the women and men who on the 14th day of the Jal Satyagraha, are facing the waters, protesting against the Government’s plan to make their villages a watery grave and evict them by the watery force. About 2,500 land holder families in Omkareshwar and thousands of families in Indira Sagar are pushed, not merely into ‘submergence’, but ‘destruction’ zone, that too without prior and legal rehabilitation.

 

It is absolute injustice meted out to the adivasi and non-adivasi farmers and the Madhya Pradesh Government has violated all norms, both its own Rehabilitation Policy and Judgements of the Supreme Court. In total contempt of the communities living in the Narmada valley since generations, the Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his cabinet is refusing to acknowledge not just the gross illegalities but also the truth and non-violence expressed through the Jal Satyagraha of the oustees and the activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Chittaroopa Palit and Alok Agarwal.

 

They refuse to take note of the scenario wherein not one but all dams in the Narmada valley are pushed ahead illegally, with scant respect for environment, law and justice. The two Ministers, as envoys of the CM, who visited the site of the Satyagaraha yesterday, failed to put forth any concrete proposal before the Satyagrahis and the oustees. The Centre too, through the Narmada Control Authority and the Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Environment have not promptly intervened in this critical situation, appearing to be beyond control when not one but at least waters from 8 dams are released and the downstream areas are flooded, destroying hundreds of acres of standing land and houses.

 

In Sardar Sarovar, the oustees of ISP and OSP have flooded more than 300 houses, along with a few shops in Nisarpur and hundreds of acres of standing crop in dozens of farms, across villages. The SSP is however, stopped and no permission is granted for any further raise in height, since 40,000 families are still residing in the submergence zone and huge scandal of Corruption in the Rehabilitation is unearthed and is under scrutiny by Justice Jha Commission.

 

However, while in SSP, for the last 27 years of struggle including Jal Satyagraha to Jal Samadhi, agitations have led to the land-based rehabilitation of 11,000 families in Maharashtra and Gujarat, but not one is rehabilitated in Madhya Pradesh. The situation is same in all the large dams in the Madhya Prdaesh part of the Narmada valley – Bargi, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Indira Sagar, Maan, Jobat, Veda, Goi etc. This is self-evident of the state government’s disrespect for the adivasis and farmers. Madhya Pradesh is locating and allocating land for investors across the globe but denies the same to the project – affected and only forces them to accept rocky, uncultivable or decades-old encroached land from its ‘Waste Land Bank’.The same insensitivity is reflected in its silence in dealing concretely with the 10 month long Jobat Zameen Haq Satyagraha by the SSP oustees, mostly the hilly adivasis, displaced since 1994. The oustees who are on the verge of reaping the second crop on the government seed farm land they have ‘occupied’ since 10 months is another slap in the face of the State!

 

It is this callous attitude that is being challenged, staking lives and livelihoods in Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam affected areas today and the same must be responded to immediately. We appeal to all the agencies, including the NHRC, the Commission for Scheduled Tribes to intervene, at least now, after 15 days of the Satyagraha. The High Court and the Supreme Court can also take suo moto notice of the crisis and intervene to protect the rights and lives, with due respect to those sacrificing their land and village communities from the oldest of the civilizations, i.e. Narmada in ‘public interest’. If not, an intensified struggle all over will challenge the power holders on the entire issue of the Narmada valley.

 

Medha Patkar Devram Kanera Khema Vestha Shrikanth Ghokru Bhilala

Ph: 09423965153 / 09179148973

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE-1000s from 250 VILLAGES OF 10 DISTRICTS support oustees #mustshare


September 2, 2012 · by of resistance and more · in News Release. ·

JAL SATYAGRAHA CONTINUES FOR THE 8TH DAY

On the 8th day of the on going Jal Satyagraha at Ghoghalgaon around 5000 people from 250 villages of 10 districts arrived to extend their solidarity to the Satyagrahis. The daughters of the Satyagrahis tied Rakhsa sutra (security band) to the thousands of people who arrived at the site as a gesture of seeking support & security. 51 Jal satyagrahis continue to stand in water for the 8th day in Ghoghalgaon fighting for their cause in spite of the blisters in their hands & feet.


A huge gathering of the kith & kin of the oustees came together which increased the Confidence & morale of the Satyagrahis. More than 5000 People from more than 250 villages of districts like Khandwa, Indore, Dewas, Burhanpur, Harda, Badwani, Khargone, Bhopal & Dhar gathered on the call of the Oustees in Ghoghalgaon to lend an overwhelming support to the protesting Oustees.
The supporters declared that they would send petition to the Chief Minister through their corresponding Village, Block & District level demanding him to reduce the water level in the dams & rehabilitate the Oustees. Women came in large numbers to Gholghaon in order to support the protesting Oustees. The supporters also declared that if the Government fails to take immediate action they would actively join the struggle with the Jal Satyagrahis.


The ongoing Jal Satyagraha in Ghoghalgaon entered its 8th day. In spite of the hands & feet of the Jal satyagrahis having turned pale & developed blisters, they are strong & determined in their stand. And their morale & confidence level has increased after receiving the support from the wave of women & men supporters who arrived at Ghoghalgaon today. The meeting concluded by offering prayers to Mother Narmada & an oath taken by the supporters as well as Satyagrahis that they would stand together in this fight for the Rights of the common people.

Alok Agarwal


Narmada Bachao Andolan
2, Sai Nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh -450 001
Telefax : 0733 – 2228318
E-mail : nbakhandwa@gmail.com

UPDATE- Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar Dam and jal satyagrah #mustshare


Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh: reduction in water levels of Omkareshwar and Indira sagar dam
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS

 
NBA‘S REPRESENTATIVE MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
 
JAL SATYAGRAHA CONTINUES FOR THE 7TH DAY AT GHOGHALGAON
 
 
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS
A petition was submitted by a representative group regarding the on going Satyagraha in Ghoghalgaon highlighting the fact that water has reached up to the chin level of 51 Oustees who are standing in water for the past 7 days. Thus it was demanded that the water level be reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Observing the seriousness of the situation Acting Commissioner of the State Human Rights Commission, Shri. A.K. Saxena passed an interim order recommending the Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Indore Division & the Collector of Khandwa to reduce the water level in the Dams to save the precious lives of the Oustees.
NBA’S REPRESENTATIVE GROUP MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
Under the aegis of Narmada Bachao Andolan a representative group of Oustees affected by Indira Sagar & Omkareshwar Dam met Shri. Rajneesh Vaish, Chief Secretary of the Narmada Valley Development Department. He was informed that the water level is being raised in Omkareshwar & Indira Sagar dams in violation of the orders of Supreme Court because of which, the houses & fields of Oustees are getting submerged without rehabilitation. It was demanded of him that the water level is reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Also, it was demanded that Land for Land and rehabilitation be completed by granting other rights relating to the same. it was also brought to his notice that the Satyagraha is on for the past 7 days in Ghoghalgaon & any further increase in water would lead to death of Satyagrahis. After listening to the group the Chief Secretary instructed the District Authorities & NHDC to resolve the issues at District level. And he would try to resolve the issues at the earliest after consulting the NVDA officials as well as with the Chief Minister’s office.
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
The Jal Satygraha continues to be strong & sturdy even as it reaches the 7th day. Number of concerned citizens from various places is extending their solidarity to the Satyagrahis. The water has reached till the chin level of the Satyagrahis early in the morning which has become a major issue. Few officials & volunteers of Narmada Bachao Andolan sat to protest against the water level increase outside the collector’s residence early in the morning & demanded an immediate reduction of the water levels to save the lives of the Satyagrahis. State wide protest was held by groups from Bhopal like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Group, M.P. Mahila Manch, Bhopal Cultural Group, All India Revolutionary Student’s Association, Muskaan etc., & In Indore by groups like All Indian  Women’s Association, Rupankan, Domestic Workers Union, Centre for People’s Development, AITUC, CPI, IPTA, IAC etc.. Some people from the affected villages of District Khargone staged a protest in Mandleshwar at Tehsildar’s office.
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