India -Noted activist Dr. Sunilam granted bail #goodnews


 

By Newzfirst Correspondent2/15/13

 

Jabalpur – The Madhya Pradesh High Court Friday suspended the life sentence of noted activist Dr. Sunilam Mishra and granted him bail in a 14 year old case of rioting. A sessions court in Multai on 19 October 2012 had sentenced Dr. Sunilam and two others to rigorous life .

 

The High Court, Jabalpur has suspended the life sentence awarded to Dr. Sunilam and two others in a 14 year old case of rioting.The HC has also granted bail to them, Aradhana Bhargava, defense counsel of Sunilam told Newzfirst.

 

The High Court also granted bail to Prahlad and Sheshrao, who were also convicted along with Dr. Sunilam in the same case.

All the three were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment on 19 October 2012 by a sessions court in Multai under the provisions of section 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder) for seven years on each count.

Dr. Sunilam was charged under sections 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 145 (unlawful assembly), 152 (assaulting and obstructing public servant when suppressing riot), 333 (causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 307(attempt to murder), 302 (murder) and other serious sections of the IPC.

Dr. Sunilam was leading a farmers’ agitation against the district administration of Betul on 12 January, 1998. As the agitation turned violent, 24 farmers were killed in the police firing that was ordered to bring the situation under control.

The MP Government lodged 66 false cases against Dr. Sunilam, who was also a leader of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, and other farmers in one single incident of police firing in Multai.

In January 12, 1998, 24 innocent farmers were shot dead and 250 injured during police firing in Multai,  a town of Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district.

Dr. Sunilam, socialist politician and a two time MLA in Madhya Pradesh Assembly was also a part of Indian People’s Movement against WTO and the anti-corruption movement in the country.

 

Habeaus Corpus Application Filed in Jabalpur High Court Against Illegal Arrest of Medha Patkar and Others


 

 Medha Continues her Indefinite Fast in Jail

Suniti S R and Prasad Bagwe Start Indefinite Fast in Yeravada Jail, Pune Against Illegal Detention. Refuse to Apply for Bail.

Around 250 Solidarity workers protested outside Madhya Pradesh Bhavan, Delhi. Support pours in from across country. Protests planned in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Elsewhere

Anna Hazare (IAC), Rajindar Sachar (PUCL), Swami Agnivesh, Manju Mohan (Socialist Janata Party), Bhupendra Rawat(DSG), Vinod Singh(Kisan Manch), Piyush (AISA) stand in solidarity with Dr. Sunilam, Medha Patkar, Advocate Aradhana Bhargava & others

New Delhi, November 6 : Medha Patkar’s and others bail application could not be filed since District Collector kept misleading the advocates and others. Initially they booked them under Section 151 (s noted in jail diary), the bail plea for which was not even admitted in the court by City Judicial Magistrate yesterday citing pressure from administration. Today, realising the mistake and trying to cover for his junior’s action they added charges under Section 188, which requires bail from judiciary. Challenging this, Anurag Modi of Jan Sangharsh Morcha has moved a habeaus corpus in Jabalpur Bench of the High Court, which will be heard tomorrow. Meanwhile, in Chaurai Tehsil Court, bail plea for Advocate Aradhana Bhargava was rejected, even though the charges of her arrest are not serious, Section 151. NAPM condemns this draconian act of the Chindwada administration and will challenge it in the Court and ensure that action is taken against the SP and DC responsible for continued arrest.

Medha Patkar continued her fast in jail on third day of her detention. In the afternoon, her blood pressure was reported high, though there is no immediate danger to her health but given her recent back injuries it will have adverse impact on her overall health. She also received a notice from the Jail Superintendent that she will be force bed and action against her will taken if she continues her indefinite fast, which is a crime under prisons act. She has refused and vehemently protested any action and challenged to take them to Court for all illegality.

Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan meanwhile postponed his visit to the district citing official reasons but we believe it is due to increasing pressure and the shame it has brought to MP government from all over the country.

Delhi Solidarity Group along with other organizations organised a protest demonstration at Madhya Pradesh Bhawan today demanding the Madhya Pradesh Government to release Dr. Sunilam, Suryavanshi Parmandal and Prahlad Agarwal who have been sentenced for life on charges of murder, arson and others.

The protest was attended by 250 activists, students, organizations & solidarity workers belonging to the “Delhi Solidarity Group”. The demonstration was also attended by Anna Hazare, Arvind Gaur & few others from the Anna Team who expressed their solidarity & support to Dr. Sunilam & the farmers of Madhya Pradesh. Anna Hazare said “The Government should withdraw the false cases on Dr. Sunilam & others and listen to the voices of the farmers. If these demands are not fulfilled I will sit with the people of Chindwara in their struggle.” Anna along with Bhupendra Singh Rawat from Delhi Solidarity Group & Arvind Gaur met with the Resident Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh Bhawan & submitted the memorandum.

Delhi Solidarity Group condemned vindictive move by the Madhya Pradesh Government and its siding with corrupt political forces and using its administrative machinery to facilitate pecuniary benefits to private corporations. Activists demanded that Madhya Pradesh Government :

  • immediately release Dr. Sunilam, Medha Patkar & others and withdraw cases, against them and others of Kisan Sangharshn Samiti.
  • action against police officers who are behind the Farmers’ massacre in Multai on January 12th 1998
  • stop ongoing forced land acquisitions in Chhindwara district for the Pench Water Diversion Project.

NAPM also stands behind its colleagues, 90 people, who are in Yeravada Jail, Pune for no fault. They had a demonstration and a very good meeting with the District Commissioner, Pune yesterday but even then they were arrested and sent to jail on Section 151 for two days. Activists refuse to seek bail or sign bonds for their release. We will challenge their illegal detention in Court and continue to fight for the rights of the Waang Marathwadi Dam, Tata Dam and Lavasa Hill city affected people.

Sandeep Pandey, Ulka Mahajan, Prafulla Samantara, Akhil Gogoi, Arundhati Dhuru, Maj. Gen. Sudhir Vombatkere, Sister Celia, Gabriele Dietrich, Roma, Geetha Ramakrishnan, Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Vimal Bhai, Rajendra Ravi, Ramakrishna Raju, Saraswati Kavula, Gautam Bandopahdyay, Shrikanth, Madhuresh Kumar

 

for details call : 9818905316

 

A habeaus corpus writ petition has been filed at jablpur High Court by Anurag Modi, Jan Sangharsh Morcha through advocate Raghvendra Kumar, the petition is listed to be heard tomorrow. The brief not of the petition is below, the copy of the petition and notice issued under section 144 of CrPC issued by Chhindwara colletor is attched.

 

That in order to deny a constitutional right of peaceful protest against illegal activity of the contractor of   Pench Diversion Project by   Adani Group of Companies, on 04-11-2012, the authorities of District Chhindwara first of all kept Ms. Medha Patkar, leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), illegally detained in the house of Advocate Anuradha Bhargav at Chhindwara and in the late night   on the same day along with 19 other villagers illegally lodged her at Chhindwara jail.

 

That Ms. Medha Patkar arrived in Chhindwara town on 4th November 2012 early morning by Indore Chhindwara Penchveli Express.   At Chhindwara Railway Station she was informed by certain authorities that section 144 of Cr.P.C. has been enforced in Chhindwara district and entry of any person other than local resident has been prohibited in Chhindwara, Chourai and Amarwada Tahsil of the district, though no such written notice of expressing the reasons and intention was served on her. She was not allowed to proceed for her scheduled participation in ongoing agitation near Machagora village.

 

That on 04-11-2012 itself in the morning, she went to the house of Advocate Aradhana Bhargav to pay condolence as her mother had recently expired. She was house arrested for the entire day at Advocate Aradhana Bhargav’s Residence at Chhindwara and despite her written submission and humble request to the District Magistrate, Chhindwara for permission to proceed for her scheduled program of participating in peaceful demonstration at Machagora village with minimum number of people as permitted, she was not allowed to leave the house. Around 10.30 P. M. in the night when she was having meeting with a few dam affected people inside the house where she was house arrested, she was   forcefully picked up from inside the house by the police and along with her colleague Mukesh, she was lodged at Chhindwara jail.

That she was not informed of reasons and charges when she was being arrested nor was she produced before any magistrate, judicial or executive, at the time of arrest or after the arrest. She along with other persons was not sent under any judicial order. That other 19 farmers were also arrested and first taken at different locations and later on were lodged at Chhindwara jail. None of her family members or colleagues of the organization were informed of her detention, subsequent arrest and her being sent to Chhindwara jail.

That she was not provided with nor was allowed to consult any lawyer. That on the basis of hearsay and the newspaper reports one Local Advocate Mr. D. K. Prajapati got to know that Ms. Medha Patkar and 19 other persons were arrested under Sections 151, 107 and 116 of Cr. P. C. He approached the court of Sub Divisional Magistrate (City Magistrate) for seeking bail for Ms. Medha Patkar and 19 others but the magistrate refused to take any cognizance of the application for bail and take it on record and left his office and seat in a jiffy

 

JOIN PROTEST-Illegal arrest of activists and forcible land acquisitions in Chindwara #dELHI @NOV6


Join in large numbers !

Protest Demonstration outside Madhya Pradesh Bhawan, November, 6th @ 2:30 pm

Urgent Action demanding the Madhya Pradesh Government

To withdraw cases, against Dr. Sunilam, Sheshrao and Prahald, leaders of Kisan Sangharshn Samiti, leading to their life sentence

Take action against police officers who are behind the Farmers’ massacre in Multai on January 12th 1998

Stop ongoing forced land acquisitions in Chhindwara district for the Pench Water Diversion Project

Release Advocate Aradhana Bhargava, Medha Patkar, Mukesh Bhagoriya and 21 other activists of KSS and other movements

Dear All,

Delhi Solidarity Group along with other organizations is holding a protest demonstration at Madhya Pradesh Bhawan on November 6, 2012 @ 2:30 pm demanding the Madhya Pradesh Government to release Dr. Sunilam, Suryavanshi Parmandal and Prahlad Agarwal who have been sentenced for life on charges of murder, arson and others. The Madhya Pradesh Government has falsely charged them for the murder of a fire brigade driver at Multai on January 12th, 1998 when police gunned down 23 farmers. The firing happened when farmers of Multai protested demanding better compensation from the Digvijay Singh Government after crop failure due to rain and cold. The core issue of farmer’s killing has been completely ignored by the MP Government to such an extent that not even a single FIR was registered against those officials who ordered the firing. Instead the police booked Dr. Sunilam & other leaders of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (KSS), who were leading the farmers protest. In last 9 years BJP government has withdrawn nearly 1,75,000 cases against its own workers but has failed to do any justice to the farmers of Multai, who not only lost their dear ones but also didn’t get any justice till date and are having to go to court on every hearing. Many of these farmers are already dead in fact.

While the MP Government has not yet answered such questions of subversions of law that are adding to the culture of impunity which has become their trend to silence voices of public interest by misleading the judiciary, they are also imposing forced evictions & acquisition of land on for Pench Water Diversion Project at various villages of Chhindwara district. The project planned in 1984, which never took off, is now being resurrected on the basis of an invalid environmental clearance mainly to provide water to the Adani Thermal Power Plant, which is under scanner for environmental violations already. The arrests of KSS leaders is to suppress the strong resistance in Chhindwara against the vested interests of the state government and elected representatives from the region by the Movement. Around 1,000 farmers are sitting in protest opposing the forced acquisition to save their lands on the 31st October 2012 at Bamanwada village after which a huge police force is stationed there and also Section 144 (Prohibitory orders) has been clamped to terrorise people there.

In a brazen act of rights violation on November 3rd, in early morning Advocate Aradhana Bhargawa, leader KSS was arrested and detained by the Madhya Pradesh police in anticipation of the forced acquisition process starting on November 4thThe arrest of Dr. Sunilam & the detention of Advocate Aradhana Bhargawa are purposely done in order to suppress the Farmer’s struggle of Madhya Pradesh.

Delhi Solidarity Group condemns such vindictive move by the Madhya Pradesh Government and its siding with corrupt political forces and using its administrative machinary to facilitate pecuniary benefits to private corporations.

We demand that MP government immediately withdrawal these fabricated cases against Dr. Sunilam & other leaders of KSS, so that they can be released from Bhopal Central Jail. Also let there be no forcible acquisition for the Pench Water Diversion Project or Adani Power Plant against the wishes of the villagers, who have passed resolution in their Gram Sabha to that effect as well.

Do join us, in solidarity to protest state repression and in solidarity with Dr. Sunilam and the struggling farmers and farm workers of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh.

When- 2.30pm, 6th November, 2012

Where- Madhya Pradesh Bhawan,

2, Bardolai Marg, Chanakya Puri, Gopi Nath, New Delhi, DL 110021

 

In Solidarity,

Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG)

Contact Persons: Sanjeev (9958797409), Ramesh (9818111562)

 

==================
National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (NAPM)
C/O 6/6 (Basement), Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 014
Mobile +91 9818 905316 | 011 2437 4535
email : madhuresh@napm-india.org (Workmadhureshk@yahoo.co.uk (Personal) | napmindia@napm-india.org (Orgn) | napmindia@gmail.com(Orgn)
Web : www.napm-india.org

Read NAPM’s News magazine, Movement of India @ 
http://issuu.com/MovementOfIndia

 

Immediate Release- Deep concern expressed against Strategic lawsuit against Dr. Sunilam & Dayamani Barla


 

 

 

Press Release

Citizen groups express deep concern against Strategic lawsuit against public participation against Dr. Sunilam & Dayamani Barla

Oct. 22, 2012, New Delhi: Imprisonment of Dr Sunilam, a socialist politician from Madhya Pradesh has been received with a sense of deep concern and dismay as part of a trend to silence voices of public interest by misleading the judiciary to save vested interests. Dr Sunilam has been part of Indian People’s Movement against WTO and anti-corruption movement in the country.

At a meeting convened by Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) over 20 citizen groups and peoples movements, the facts and circumstances related to the conviction and life imprisonment of Dr Sunilam were examined and future action in this regard was planned.

A meeting of eminent citizens and peoples’ movements is planned on October 28, 2012. In a related development, a solidarity meeting is planned in Hyderabad on October 26 at the office of National Alliance Alliance of Peoples’ Movements.

Former legislator and President of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Dr Sunilam led Kisan Andolans. On 12 January, 1998 which was a black day for the farmers’ movement of our country, the State Government under the leadership of Digvijay Singh brutally crushed the non-violent farmers’ movement using the state police. Under a big conspiracy, Digvijay Singh misused the State Police that fired bullets and 24 farmers were martyred. In this incident, 150 farmers were injured due to bullet fire.

The farmers of the district Betul had given a memorandum to circle office on 12 December, 1997. In this memorandum they demanded compensation for their damaged crops. But their effort remained unheeded. Again on 18 December 1997 they submitted another memorandum with a short notice, otherwise they would start a big movement for their agricultural losses. Due to inactive conduct of Government officials, the farmers were bound to form “Kisan Sangharsh Samity”. With the formation of this outfit, thousand farmers started indefinite protest (Dharna) against the oppressive Congress regime, in Tehsil Compound.

The state police continued its oppressive attitude towards farmers but on January 9, 1998 around 75000 farmers marched in Betul protested peacefully. The District Magistrate of Betul came forward and proposed compensation of only Rs. 400 per acre. This little amount was too insufficient to hurt the farmers’ sentiments. Again agitated farmers were on the crossroad and on 11th January, 1998 they siege the Multai Tehsil and all 450 villages of this tehsil. It was a historical Bandh, while police administration tried hard to maintain normal traffic. Farmers opposed the intervention of police authorities. In a response police and Congress hooligans fired few buses and in conspiracy police charged some farmer leaders for this arson. On 12th January 1998, farmer’s leader Dr. Sunilam decided to enter in Tehsil but the state police had already ordered to shoot farmers Dr. Sunilam reached Tehsil office and requested again and again to stop such firing but police authority did not heed his request. They were acting on the order of their Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. The whole drama was to annihilate Dr. Sunilam. He was arrested, beaten brutally by police and faced all kind of police torture.

Madhya Pradesh Government had lodged 66 cases on 250 farmers along with their leader Dr. Sunilam. Additional Session Court of Multai will give the verdict in three cases on 18th October, 2012. Today, 14 years have been passed.

Dr. Sunilam is a socialist brave heart farmer leader and a courageous friend of the toiling masses. His struggle for the Madhya Pradesh farmers is a significant struggle after independence. Both, the Congress and the BJP (prominent national parties) came into power and showed their negligence about this Multai incident.

Despite an adversarial State government, in 1998, Dr Sunilam won the legislative assembly seat of Multai, by a margin of 50% votes. He contested this seat as an independent candidate from farmers’ community. He won the Multai assembly seat in 2003, with 60% of polled votes as a candidate of Samajwadi Party. He was made the leader of the Samajwadi Party in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. Formerly he was the National Secretary of Samajwadi Party.

Taking note of Dr Sunilam’s background, the appeal for supporting him merits endorsement of all the concerned citizens who love democracy and cherish citizen’s liberty.

The meeting also discussed the case of Dayamani Barla who is a journalist turned anti-displacement, tribal, woman activist from Jharkhand as part of a similar trend to harass public interest persons. She was granted bail by a local court of Ranchi on October 18, 2012. But she was arrested again when friends and colleagues of Dayamani reached jail to receive her, they were told that she is been arrested in the Nagari case and can’t be let off. She was sent to Jail on October 16, 2012 in fourteen days judicial custody, after she surrendered before the court in a matter of April 25, 2006. Six year ago, she was charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), for participating in a protest demonstration, which blocked the road, demanding job cards for rural laborers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. She availed bail in to the matter at that time from the concerned police station and the matter was almost closed one. This not the first time when she is intimidated or harassed but the government is leaving no chance to target her. The recent intimidation and arrest is due to her leading a restless, successful and mostly peaceful (except once when police opened fire on villagers) struggle against the acquisition of fertile land at Nagari, a village situated at few kilometers from the state capital and where government wants to build IIM, IIT and National Law School. The government is desperately trying to crush the movement, by hook or crook.

It is not a matter of Dr Sunlam and Dayamani Barla alone. Harassment of activists on fake pretexts and conviction in fabricated cases has become a trend that merits the response of the sane legal, social and political minds to defang the bite of the strategic lawsuit against public participation.  

For Details: Ramesh Kr. Sharma, INSAF-Indian Social Action Forum, New Delhi-110016, Ph: 011-26517814, 65663958,9818111562. Gopal Krishna, Mb: 9818089660.

 

Founder-president of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (KSS),Dr. Sunilam Gets Life-term in Case of Police Firing on Farmers’ Protest in 1997 #Fabricated


 

‘If you act against the system, you are either killed or cases are fabricated against you’

Dr. Sunilam, 51, Multai, Madhya Pradesh, 19th oct 2012

[Interview Courtesy: Tehelka]

‘The state is protecting industrialists at the cost of tribals’
‘We want justice. The government can’t keep quiet for long’

‘The complainant is always a police officer. So how can there be any justice?’

IN INDIA, the system operates in such a way that you are either part of the system or co-opted to become a part of the system,” says activist Sunilam. “If not, you are either killed or cases are fabricated against you.”With 133 cases registered against him and multiple attempts on his life, it’s safe to say he knows what he is talking about.

As founder-president of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (KSS), Sunilam has been actively working with farmers against unjust land acquisition by the Madhya Pradesh government.

For his role in the kisan andolan of 12 January 1998 at Multai, the then Congress government lodged 66 false cases against him. “Under the banner of KSS, we had organised a rally where over 75,000 farmers protested the destruction of their farmland by the state government,” says Sunilam. “As the agitation gathered steam, the state government thought it could crush and discredit the movement by killing the leaders. They believed that the farmers can be taught a lesson.”

The police opened fire on the protesting farmers, killing 24 and injuring 115 persons. Sunilam, who was also injured, was arrested from a hospital. But instead of being produced in front of a magistrate, he was tortured for three days, after which he was imprisoned for three months. “They also tried to kill me. They would say, ‘24 have died you will be the 25th’ but because I was a well-known figure and the people knew I was in police custody, they could not kill me.”

What the former MLA finds shocking is that in violation of the law, no case was filed against the police for the shooting, nor has there been any investigation. Instead, he has been running from one court hearing to the next.

The system seems to be working against the activist, despite being injured in a planned attack, where he broke his arm and received multiple stitches on his head, a police case was filed against him in Chhindwara. More recently, he was charged in a rape case where as the acting MLA, he arrived at the scene of the crime five hours after the event.

With 16 pending cases and a CBI warrant for his arrest, Sunilam has come to one conclusion, “What they have started doing is registering cases against me and not informing me. In spite of having a CBI warrant in my name, I am moving around freely. Everyone knows where I am, but the reason they haven’t arrested me is that they have registered these cases to malign me but at the same time it gives them leverage; they can use them to arrest me when I become too much of an inconvenience.”

Avalok Langer is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.

Popular farmer leader and ex-MLA from Multai, M.P. Dr. Sunilam has been sentenced to life prison today in a case as old as 14 years relating to the incident of police firing in Multai on protesting farmers way back in January 1998 in which Sunilam was charged with 66 fabricated cases.
All in all he was facing more than 100 fabricated cases and this was basically due to his relentless struggles for the rights of farmers. Last year he survived in a life threatening attack on him by hired goons of Adani-Pench Power Plant Ltd., the company that was allotted farmers land illegally 22 years after acquisition. The court’s decision today is basically a result of corrupt collusion among corporate, legislature, executive and lower judiciary. Ironically, anti-graft crusader Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare have not uttered a single word since yesterday against court’s decision to implicate Dr. Sunilam in false case and life term given today.
This is more important because Sunilam was a core member of Team Anna and till last anti-graft stir, he could be seen continuously on an off screen with the team in his brand green muffler. Neither a word of protest has come from Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party that was once solely represented in Madhya Pradesh by Sunilam who was MLA  from Multai seat.
Below is the letter sent last year by Dr. B.D. Sharma on behalf of people to erstwhile MOEF Jairam Ramesh against Power Project in Chhindwara, M.P. This memorandum of assertion is very critical at this stage to understand the technicality of the case and politics related to Sunilam’s conviction.
To,
Shri Jairam Ramesh
Union Minister for Environment and Forest
Paryavaran Bhawan,
New Delhi.
Subject: Memorandum of Assertion against Power Project in Chhindwara. M.P.
1. The Issue   
It is my proud privilege to forward to you the Memorandum of Assertion adopted by more than a thousand people on May 31, 2011. They were representing countless denizens of scores of villages in Chhindwara District of Madhya Pradesh. I am an eyewitness to people’s unshakable resolve not to allow their Mother Earth to be ravaged by the gold-diggers and fortune seekers in one of the richest forest areas in our country.
            The story begins in 1986 with a Government Resolution to establish a Thermal Power Project in this remote region under the aegis of M. P. Electricity Board. The land acquisition proceedings were started under the aura of State’s authority with no dialogue before or after thereof with innocent people facing the prospect of landlessness. It is a universal experience that paltry compensation in acquisition proceedings vanishes in no time; and all other promises prove to be a mirage. The acquisition proceedings in court rooms, hallowed with the aura of the Raj, end up virtually in   meek submissions for mercy before mai-bap sarkar. While land owners get paltry amounts as doles, no one cares to note that even that draconian law has a place for ‘persons interested’ such as informal tenants, share croppers, agricultural workers. Similarly no one cared to share with the people the scenario after commissioning of a Power Project such as flying ash destroying extensive green fields and polluted water rendering land unfit for agriculture. Some palliatives were promised like rehabilitation grant and service to one member of each affected family.
  Ironically nothing moved on the ground about Power Project after land acquisition for reasons not known to the people. The farmers, therefore, continued to cultivate their lands and deal with the situation when time arrives. To their utter surprise, one fine morning MPEB itself was wound up leaving no message to the affected. Similarly all was quite on government side which is supposed to be the custodian of acquired lands not used for purpose designated.
 
2. The Public Hearing
Ironically after more than 20 years, one fine morning people learnt through word of mouth that concerned lands were sold out to Adanis for Power Project at a fabulous price of Rs 13.5 lakhs per acre. This firm had earned notoriety in Chandrapur and  was expelled there from. It silently moved into this area and took possession of some land without showing the courtesy of meeting the people in continued possession after land acquisition. In fact even the administration, which executed this transaction, did not consider it worthwhile even to talk to the people in possession of land, not to speak about sharing their concern after the new takeover.
I am happy about your Ministry noting the basic flaw about sale being finalised and possession being allowed before public hearing on environmental viability. You also assured a delegation of farmers led by Medha Patkar and Dr Sunilam, Ex MLA that since the Ministry has not given environmental clearance no construction can take place in the area. I am also sorry to note that even after the Collector Chhindwara assured a delegation of Jan Sansad that no work will continue in the area, the work is continuing unabated. Thus Adanis have not cared to go by the advice of the Ministry as also civil administration and are indulging in illegal activities.
I am also sorry to note that notwithstanding the best intentions of the Ministry public hearings are generally taken as a ritual to satisfy the ‘ego and fads’ of so-called environmentalists. The end result in such hearings depends on the relative strength of people concerned vis-a-vis interested party and sensitivity of administration.
I must invite your attention to the fact that the place of public hearing is crucial in achieving its real objective. The people are at their best in the known surroundings of their own village. They are generally ill at ease in administrative establishments with visible aura of State authority. Last but not the least, if public hearing is organised in the arena of interested party it is bound to degenerate into a ritual with results being known well in advance.
I am pained to observe that the public hearing of Power Project held on November 6, 2010 blatantly violated credibility test. It was not held in the known environment of people concerned. Nor did organizers think of the second choice, some sarkariestablishment, notwithstanding serious psychological limitations noted earlier. Lo and behold, the public hearing was held in Adani’s own compound, whose occupation is disputed. It was also serviced by his own people. A bevy of musclemen were in attendance in this hearing to ensure that there are no dissenting voices. The inevitable result was that simple farmers could hardly present their side with ease.
3. The Changing Perspective
I wish to place before you the fact that much water has flown under the bridge since the land was acquired some 22 years back. A new generation of youth has appeared, especially in areas with rich natural resources, who have witnessed the trauma of displacement. They are rejecting the principle of eminent domain of the State and asserting principle of eminent domain of the community in the form ofGaon Gana Rajya or Village Republic. The people who had lost their land de jure but continued to occupy the same due to the state of indecision have in the mean time become highly articulate in self defense. The movement in this area got intensified after the disputed public hearing noted above. It culminated in a long march covering all the affected villages. The articulation of their side on all aspects of the proposed project was fabulous.
4. Bid to Capture at any Cost
It is clear that such articulation from people’s side is not acceptable to those engaged like Adani in capturing resources virtually in the style of fabled ‘Gold Rush’ of western frontier in United States.  The two top leaders of the movement, Dr Sunilam and Advocate Aradhana Bhargava, were beaten up by the goons in their bid to liquidate them on May 22, 2011 when the group was returning after making preparations for the forthcoming ‘padayatra’. Each one of them had a fractured hand besides other injuries. The police came after two and half hours of the information being personally given to the S.P. Chhindwara. To cap it all, a simple inconsequential case has been registered by the police merely as a formality under Section 323 IPC although it was a clear case of attempt to murder under Section 307 of IPC.
5. The Great Omission
Lastly, I will invite your attention to some crucial aspects of environmental public hearing. The environmental projection has to be with reference to the scene that will emerge after the Project is commissioned. In the case of an industrial project the present is no indication of even the proximate future, not to speak of long term implications. In Bailadila Iron Ore Project of Bastar only six persons were formally displaced but it ravaged scores of villages and polluted the Shankini River for one hundred miles denying the people even simple drinking water.
I took up this issue in 1970s as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs in pursuance of a Minute of Smt Indira Gandhi dated 19.6.1974 addressed to the Home Minister:
 
The Licensing policy and project-formulation for big industrial and mining complexes hardly take into account the local simple tribal situation. New vested interests are being created in these areas. A balanced relationship between the traditional economy and the modernised sector has to be built by introducing an element of local participation wherever possible and advanced planning for all-round development in the entire region.
            It was formally decided by the Union Government that the likely zone of influence of an industrial project must be identified concurrently with the project proper and a comprehensive plan of action should be prepared for the Project and its zone of influence which should ensure life with dignity on terms of equality for all people located in the Zone. The first clearance of the Government of India in terms of the above formulation was accorded to Malanchakhand Copper Project in M.P. subject to fulfillment of above conditions. Similar exercises were also under taken for the existing projects. It is sad to note that such crucial decisions got buried in official files.  The nation is paying heavily in the form of unprecedented unrest in resource rich areas, tribal and non-tribal, of our country.
6. Concluding Action Points
In conclusion it is clear that
1.      The meeting held on 6.11.2010 about Power Project cannot be deemed to be a Public Hearing for the purposes of environmental clearance of a Power Project in Chhindwara by MoEF;
2.      You may advice State Government to remove the structure illegally constructed on the farmer’s land by Adani and restore land to the its owner-farmers;
3.      You may consider black-listing a company which has started its innings with indulging in illegal activities from day one in violation of the law of the land and ignoring the advice of the Ministry as also the District Magistrate.
4.      You may review the scope of the Public Hearing in general which must cover not only the proximate situation but the also the likely Zone of Influence as was decided by the Government of India in 1975;
5.      You may advise the Government of MP to review the Chhindwara Power Project making a realistic projection not only of Power Project but also its Zone of Influence. Moreover, the issues raised by the people not only in Chhindwara but in the neighbouring areas including Pench in Maharashtra must also be thoroughly considered in consultation with the people; and
6.      A public hearing, if any, in the real spirit of this may be held only after all the above conditions have been fulfilled.
With best regards                                                                                               Yours Sincerely
                                                                                                (Dr. B.D. Sharma)
Courtesy: JunPuth

Pathetic condition of Pardhi victims – an update


 

Present Status of the case

After the filing of the part charge-sheet by CBI at CBI court Jabalpur, we have filed a detailed petition at Jabalpur High Court to demand further investigation,   to implicate the leaders of BJP and Congress in rape case and murder case, and officers of dist admin in the case of loot and arson.

 History of mob lynching in Betul

आपको हम यह बता दे, की 2007  का पारधीकांड अपनेआप में कोई इस तरह की  अकेली घटना नहीं  है. सारी बात इस परिपेक्ष्य में देखना होगी , की पूरे म. प्र. में बैतूल जिला  ही एक एसा जिला है,  जहाँ,  2003 से 2007 के बीच, पारधी जैसी जाती के 13 महिला -पुरुषो को भीड़ द्वारा मार  डाला गया(either stoned or charred ). Before 2004 and 2008 assembly elections the anger against Pardhies was fueled by political parties and in both the elections MLA from Congress Sukhdev Panse won the election; first from Masod and later shifted to Sunilam’s constituency, i. e. , Multai . And the proposed Jusunwai in 2012 at Multai would have further fuelled the atmosphere against Pardhis before 2013 assembly election. यह पहली बार है की हमारे द्वारा इस मामले को उठाये जाने से इस पर रोक लगी वरना न जाने कितनी घटनाए और होती.

Not Targeting Dr. Sunilam

दूसरा  हम इस पत्र के शुरुवात में ही यह स्पष्ट कर दे की हमारा उद्देश्य पारधी जैसी देश की 150 denotified tribe (criminal tribe; fed up of their rebel Brtish notified them as a criminal tribes. Though, it was denotified in 1954, the attitude towards them never changed)  के प्रति हर जगह व्याप्त  biases  को उठाना है. हम   पारधीकांड, मुलताई मामले में डॉ सुनीलम को टार्गेट नहीं कर रहे है, हाँ यह जुरूर है की इस मामले में हमे उनका  व्यवहार एक प्रगतिशील आन्दोलनकारी  के विपरीत लगा, हमे  इससे व्यथित है,  हमने अपनी इस व्यथा को आन्दोलन के साथियो के बीच उठाने की लगातार कोशिश की है. विशेषकर जब उन्हें इंडिया अगेंस्ट करप्शन में और एन ए पी म में ख़ास भूमिका दी गई , तो हमे लगा की इस बात का इन आंदोलनों तक पहुचना जरुरी है.

This shows important of this case.

जब २००७ के गोलीकांड में अचनक उनकी भूमिका के बारे में स्थानीय पत्रकारों, व्हीडियो रिकार्डिंग और national dentotified tribe  commmssion की रिपोर्ट से मालूम पड़ा तो हम काफी दुविधा में थे, की PIL में उनका नाम डाले या नहीं. लेकिन कई लोगो से चर्चा के बाद हम इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुंचे की हम इस मामले पक्षपात नहीं कर सकते. हमे कोर्ट के सामने सारे तथ्य ज्यो के त्यों रखना चहिये. और हमने वैसा ही किया. 2007 से 2009 के बीच यह petition है कोर्ट में सूनी गई, प्रसिद्ध वरिष्ठ वकील एन एस काले इस केस को लड़ रहे थे. उनकी अचनाक मौत हो जाने से, २४ जुलाई 2009 को final argument मैंने किया, आपको शायद याद होगा की २३ जुलाई २००९ को शमीम पर मुंबई में जान लेवा हमला हुआ था, लेकिन इसके बावजूद मै जबलपुर में  24 July को इस केस की final argument कबाद ही मुंबई रवाना हुआ.

 

Our campaign  against CBI’ effort to save the leader  of Congress & BJP and Officers of Local Administration

इस मामले में अगस्त २००९ में है कोर्ट के आदेश पर सी बी आई ने investigatin शुरू किया. हमे थोड़े  दिनों में जब यह समझ आने के लगा की सी बी आई इस मामले में राजनैतिक दबाव में कांग्रेस और बीजेपी के नेताओ और अधिकारियों को बचने का प्रयास कर रहे है. तो हमने इसे लेकर ना सिर्फ जबलपुर हाई कोर्ट में एक और याचिका लगाई बल्कि सी  बी आई director को शिकयत कर, व्यक्तिगत मुलाकात भी की.

इन सारे पत्रों, शिकयतो में हमने सिर्फ कांग्रेस , भाजप और अधिकारियों के मिलीभगत की ही बात की है:

Intro of the first letter to director CBI dated 22/9/10

The CBI may be creating ripples in the political and administrative circles of Gujarat but in MP it is proving otherwise.  A case of rape, murder, loot, and arson on 10th and 11th September 2007 involving marginalised Pardhi community is under investigation by CBI’s Bhopal office for a year now and yet no one has been named in the FIR. The investigation officer of CBI additional S.P. M. S. Khan has been pressurising Pardhi witnesses into altering their statements as leader of Congress and BJP and higher officers are involved.

Minutes of the meeting with CBI director on 1/11/10 ; Dr. Premsingh of SJP had accompanied me

First of all I would like to begin with thanking you for giving us patient hearing and being cordial. Further to the discussion I am mentioning some of the following points of impropriety on the Part of your I.O. Mr. Khan –

  1. After having recorded  eye witness account of  Rishu Naidu (stringer with ETV)    (in third case of loot and arson)  I got a call from him ( IO)   for deleting Collector Arun Bhat’s name from the statement. He said “ usne kafi bade logo ka nam le diya hai aur uski jan ko khatra ho sakta hai, and on my asking he said he has named Collector”

Intro of the third  letter to director CBI dated 6/2/12

There has been continuous effort by successive investigation officers of CBI to ill-influence the investigation in the above mentioned cases, so as to save the main accused MLA of Congress from Multai, Sukhdev Panse, BJP’s vice-chairman of Betul Zila Panchayat, Raja Pawar, SDO of Police, Multai  D. K. Sakkle,  some of the key persons responsible for; the rape of 11 Pardhi women on the intervening night of 10th September 2007;  rape and subsequent murder of Dodebai Pardhi  along with her husband Bondru on the morning of 11th September 2007, followed by  instigation of mob into loot and arson of entire Pardhi settlement of Chotuiya village under Multai Police station. (Detailed letter attached).

Intro of the third letter to director CBI dated 20/9/12

Investigation by Central bureau of Investigation (CBI) into all the three incidents of rape, murder, and arson, occurred within the span of 24 hours from 10.9.07 evening to 11.9.07 at village Chotiya, district Betul, suffers from; favours, manipulation; concealing and misrepresentation of material facts, to save the influential politicians and officers of police and revenue in the district administration, which reflects very badly on premier investigation agency like CBI. CBI is acting under pressure in order to save the MLA of Congress Party from Multai, Sukhdev Panse; Betul Zila Panchayat Vice Chairman and leader of BJP, Raja Pawar , SDO of Police D. S. Sakkale in the case of rape and subsequent murder. CBI is also trying to save then D.M., S.P., and other officers of Police and Administration of Betul district of M.P. Moreover, in last two years none of the main accused name in the charge-sheet has been arrested, nor there any inclination shown by the CBI to apprehend them.

Dr. Suinlam’ Video Recording.

Etv Journalist Rishu Naidu has recorded the interview of Dr. Sunilam ; it can be seen in the video clipping. In his affidavit at the HC he has said that when he reached the spot around 11 am, along with the ladders of political party, Dr. Sunilam was also there and they all were instigating the mob.

U Tube link of Dr Sunilam Video

http://youtu.be/arHbAZM7eDg

he is also referring to the Khapakhateda Knd in which 8 people of Hnagari Lohar community were killed.

 

Other video linkages

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G08fGbD2pAc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUwavYzle3Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZpslrcdUc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rav_B3-gR2Q5HA6rhs2A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVfG_IQ-AZo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2NuxQ0RvfQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2NuxQ0RvfQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmu8sn7JISY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0RoWm1EhA8

NCDNT Report

National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic TribesReport on the incident involving Pardhis, Madhya Pradesh,9-11 September 2007. The Commission represented by Sh. Balakrishna Renke (Chairman), Sh. Laxmibhai Patni  (Member) and Dr. Meena Radhakrishna (Director Research) visited Betul district in Madhya Pradesh on September 29-30, 2007 to investigate an incident involving Pardhis on September 9-11, 2007, and its aftermath.

DM, Betul’ Rehab Plan

The rehab plan proposed and submitted to the state government and Jabalpur High Court by then Collector of Betul,  for the victims rehabilitation shows the height of apathy:

It says that, the Pardhi Reahb-Camp will be fenced with barbed wire and enter and exit to the camp will be regulated and recoded for initial 5 years and extended accordingly if so needeed.

 

                 जहां हम system के खिलाफ विद्रोह करने वालो का सम्मान करते है, आज भी पारधी और उनके जैसी १५० चिर विद्रोही (born rebel ) जातियां , जिन्हें अंग्रेजों ने अपराधिक घोषित कर दिया था , आज भी इस दंश को झेल रही है. हम सबको इस मुद्दे पर कुछ करना ही होगा. इन जातियों के पास जो born -talent है उसके सही उपयोग करने से यह देश कही का कही पहुँच सकता है. लेकिन जहा हम एक तरफ स्कूल कालेज में talent हंट करते है, वाहे यह  born -talent बर्बाद जा रहा है. आज इन जातियों के पास जीवन का संकट है. We got to act.

Anurag /Shamim

sasbetul@yahoo.com

Pardhi Camp Betul

Raja Pawar with the gun, in his victory procession as a Zila Panchyat VC

 

   

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