#India – Mental Health Care Bill cleared by Cabinet


Music and Mental Health

The Union Cabinet  cleared the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 that makes access to mental health care a right of all persons

Submitted on Fri, 06/14/2013 – 16:55

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 that makes access to mental health care a right of all persons. Such services should be affordable, of good quality and available without discrimination, it said. The proposed law decriminalises suicide.

The Bill, in consonance with international laws, has the provision of Advance Directives — described as a progressive and far-sighted step. No person who has recorded an Advance Directive to State that he or she should not be admitted to a facility without consent can be so admitted.

A rights-based Bill also has a provision wherein a person with mental illness can appoint a nominated representative to take decisions for him or her. Under the provisions of the Bill, government has an obligation to provide half way homes, community caring centres and other shelters for mentally ill people. This has been planned under the District Mental Health Programme in the 12th Plan.

In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reported that 10-12 million or one to two per cent of the population suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and nearly 50 million or five per cent from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population. The prevalence of mental disorders was higher among women, those who were homeless, poor and living in urban areas, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told The Hindu.

The new Bill, once approved by Parliament, will repeal the Mental Health Act, 1987, which had vested extraordinary power in the hands of the treating psychiatrists. There was enough evidence of misuse and unscrupulous families collaborating with psychiatrists in addition to badly functional or non-functional Central and Mental Health Authorities primarily because of lack of funds.

Under the proposed new law, there is provision for voluntary admission with supported admission limited to specific circumstances; appeals can be made to the Mental Health Review Commission, which will also review all admission beyond 30 days and free care for all homeless, destitute and poor people suffering from mental disorder. The Bill provides right to confidentiality and protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in addition to right to live in a community and legal aid. It bans the electric-convulsive therapy without anesthesia and restricts psychosurgery, Mr. Azad said.

He said the Bill tries to address the needs of the families and caregivers, and the needs of the homeless mentally ill. It provides for setting up Central and State Mental Health Authorities, which would act as administrative bodies, while the Mental Health Review Commission would be a quasi-judicial body to oversee the functioning of mental health facilities and protect the rights of persons with mental illness in mental health facilities.

Credit and Source: The Hindu

 

#India – Plea in Kerala HC against #Aadhaar enrolment #UID


 

By Express News Service – KOCHI 19th June 2013 1

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

A petition has been filed before the High Court challenging the decision of the government to insist upon the public for Aadhaar registration as a prerequisite to avail of the benefits of government schemes.

 

 

The petition was filed by Asees Kakkadan, general secretary of the Kozhikode Jilla Pouravakasha Samrakshana Samithi. According to the petitioner, the National Identification Authority of India Bill-2010 was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in December 2011. But even then the Centre is going ahead with the project only to aid the private agency involved in the enrolment procedure, the petitioner alleged.The petitioner submitted that the government insists on Aadhaar registration for availing of benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, welfare pension and education benefits.

 

 

“A citizen cannot be denied the benefits of government projects only for not registering under an authority. And the Aadhaar lacks legislative sanction. At present, various identity cards are being issued like election identity card, ration card, driving licence, pan card etc., which clearly establish the identity of a person. Hence insisting on Aadhaar number is illegal,” the plea said.

 

 

#India- Supreme Court agrees to hear PIL on US surveillance of Internet data


PTI : New DelhiWed Jun 19 2013,
Court
Supreme Court. (IE Photo)
The Supreme Court today agreed to give an urgent hearing to a PIL on the issue of US National Security Agency snooping on Internet data from India and seeking to initiate action against Internet companies for allowing the agency to access the information.

Agreeing to hear the PIL filed by a former Dean of Law Faculty of Delhi University Professor S N Singh, a bench of justices A K Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi posted the case for hearing next week.

In his plea, Singh has alleged that such large scale spying by the US authorities is detrimental to national security and urged the apex court to intervene in the matter. He has claimed that the Internet companies are sharing information with the foreign authority in “breach” of contract and violation of right to privacy.

“As per reports, nine US-based Internet companies, operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with National Security Agency of US without express consent of Indian users.Such larges cale spying by the USA authorities besides being against the privacy norms is also detrimental to national security,” the petition, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, has said.

Singh has submitted that it is a breach of national security as government’s official communications have come under US surveillance as services of private Internet firmsare being used by them. He has sought directions to the Centre to “take urgent steps to safeguard the government’s sensitive Internet communications” which are being kept outside India in US servers and are “unlawfully intruded upon by US Intelligence Agencies through US-based Internet companies under secret surveillance program called PRISM”.

#India – Flaws in Koodankulam Nuclear Power plant


By A Gopalakrishnan

19th June 2013 07:23 AM

The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu is owned and will be operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is to oversee and regulate nuclear safety, while the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) also have well-defined regulatory roles to play in non-nuclear safety aspects.

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) reviewed previous lower court judgements and heard fresh affidavits on issues of KKNPP safety. In its final judgment on May 6, 2013, the SC directed AERB, NPCIL, MoEF and TNPCB to (collectively) oversee each and every aspect, including safety of the plant, its impact on environment and the quality of various components and systems in the plant, before commissioning it. The SC has also directed that a (joint) report to that effect be filed before it prior to commissioning of the plant.

To understand the overall problems in their right perspective, one has to see how the total project responsibility at KKNPP is shared between India and Russia. Under the 1998 inter-governmental supplementary agreement, the Russians are to provide the reactor designs and supply the major equipment. The instrumentation and control (I&C) design package, including installation details, were also to come from Russia. The NPCIL and its Indian contractors would build the reactors, but a small team of Russian specialists (“advisers”) would stay at the site to render technical assistance at all stages of construction, in the installation of reactor equipment and in the commissioning and operation of the reactors, until NPCIL takes over.

KKNPP reactors are pressurised water reactors (PWRs) of the Russian VVER type, of 1000 MWe rating. The past Indian experience is entirely on pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs), India having built only a very small PWR for a submarine which is yet to be started. The PHWRs are technologically very different from the VVER-1000 reactors, and the Russians have designed and built more than 20 of them. The experience gained over the years by Indian contractors who have steadily worked with NPCIL is also limited to PHWRs. Therefore, it is certainly foolhardy for India to insist that KKNPP Units 1 & 2 shall be built under the above division of responsibilities. The reasons for doing so have been the minimisation of cost and an overconfident estimation of NPCIL’s capabilities, combined with a lack of appreciation of the technological finesse required to build a large and complicated PWR for the first time. The problems described in this article can be primarily attributed to this fatal error in project formulation.

Besides the probable installation of substandard parts in KKNPP reactors due to laxity of quality control, it is now evident that another major safety issue related to the I&C systems is worrying the KKNPP management and the AERB, because of which the Unit 1 start-up is now postponed to July 2013. This inference is reached by piecing together information now available in the public domain. The problem, to put it simply, appears to be the inability to eliminate spurious signals of untraced origin appearing in many of the instrumentation cables of paramount importance to safety, like the reactor neutron chamber output lines, wiring of the safety and shut-off rod control systems, etc.

Such phenomena belong to a broad class of problems known as Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI). A very rudimentary example of EMI, for instance, is that of a power-carrying, unshielded cable that would generate a surrounding electro-magnetic field, that in turn could induce a voltage/current in a nearby instrumentation or control cable. This spurious input can add to or subtract from the “real” signals, thereby sending erroneous control inputs to a variety of crucial safety systems, possibly leading to unpredictable and serious malfunctions or accidents.

EMI in nuclear plants can be totally avoided by following modern I&C system design and installation norms. (See, for example, “Modern I&C for Nuclear Power Plants”, IAEA, 1999). In particular, obtaining a sound, interference-free transmission of electrical signals between various parts of a nuclear system demands careful attention to cable laying and routing as well as earthing, and requires that specific rules in this regard are strictly followed. The Russian “advisers” on site seem to have earlier indicated to the Indians that most of the VVERs which they have commissioned have used strict Russian standards like GOST 50746-2000, called the National Standard of the Russian Federation for Electro-magnetic Compatibility (EMC) of equipment for nuclear power plants (Requirements and Test Methods), which is available at: http://files.stroyinf.ru/Data1/41/41348/. However, the sequential history of KNPP events do not show that such care was taken in implementation of I&C systems by NPCIL and their contractors.

The cable problems at Koodankulam have a long history. Glimpses of this can be seen from the past annual reports of the AERB. The 2009-2010 AERB report states the regulators were “informed (by NPCIL) that new cable routes have been created to take care of additional cables required for normal operation of the plant, as these were not accounted for in the earlier design”. AERB’s 2010-2011 annual report states that “NPCIL was asked to submit detailed response to various observations made on cable layout — along with justifications for deviations from established methods of laying of cables and alternative measures to meet any exigencies”. Interestingly, the 2011-2012 annual report is totally silent about the follow-up actions taken in this matter.

Around the same time, a telling PTI report on the KKNPP cable problem appeared on July 20, 2011, in Indian newspapers. In part it said (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/tn-kudankulam-nplant-to-achieve-criticality/168957-3.html), “But the observation that several cables were missing, to be incorporated by designers in the reactor almost towards completion of the plant (2009-2010), could not be explained… The designers discovered that several kilometres of power and control cables in the reactor were ‘missed’ after the completion of the double containment of the reactor… A year ago, a major operation had to be undertaken to incorporate the ‘missing’ cables by making new opening in the containment domes (breaking open the concrete walls and its steel liner) and sealing it again after bringing the cables from the switch yard to inside”. One wonders how such a serious error was committed by the NPCIL engineers and their contractors!

This exposes a serious difference in the ethics of doing project site work between the Russians and Indians. Russians are very well-organised and systematic, and they rigidly follow the rules and expect others also to do so. While Indians, too, have rules and regulations on paper, to expedite work or to minimise cost, they would not hesitate to bend or break rules. In case of the I&C design and installation details, the Russians had prepared detailed documentation including hundreds of drawings, which they expected the Indian installers to follow diligently, in the interest of performance and safety. The World Nuclear Association has reported that KKNPP control system documentation was delivered late by the Russians and, when reviewed (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-G-N/India/#.Ub7fWPkzjAs) by NPCIL, it showed up the need for significant refining and even reworking of some aspects. This was necessitated because, while waiting for details to arrive from Russia, the NPCIL team had proceeded on with the I&C work based on their PHWR experience, little realising that the PWR/VVER requirements contained in the Russian documents would be significantly different. In doing re-work and rectification of the PHWR-based work, the NPCIL team is unlikely to have come close to meeting the Russian design intent or conformed to the installation documents received from them. The origin of the present problem lies in this massive installation error of the NPCIL.

In 2004, the then KKNPP station director told Frontline (http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=flonnet&rdurl=fl2108/fl210800.htm) that “difficulty arose with working documentation, which was to arrive from the Russian designers. But I shall not blame the Russians, there was pressure on them to advance their drawings and documents.” He went on to say, “When you want to speed up…you have to take certain decisions even if the input data are not available. As a designer and an engineer, you have to assume those data and go ahead.” It is this daredevil approach of the NPCIL site engineers and their contractors which has landed the KKNPP in the present mess.

It is most likely that the KKNPP cable system, as completed today, has not conformed to the norms and standards of cable selection, EMI shielding, or layout as per Russian, Indian or any other standards. No wonder the EMI problem is persisting, because there is no other short-cut solution other than re-doing a sizeable part of the I&C cabling and its layout in accordance with a set of modern standards, agreeable also to the Russians. This may take several more months and extensive re-working, but this must be done in the interest of public safety. As directed by the SC, the group consisting of NPCIL, AERB, MoEF and TNPCB must certainly find an acceptable resolution of this problem and include it in their report to the apex court.

A Gopalakrishnan is a former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

 

#India displaced women and children imprisoned for a month by #Vedanta and police #Vaw #WTFnews


Badapada:

Badapada: the jailed women and children tell their story

19th June.  This report, directly from a Foil Vedanta team on the ground in Niyamgiri, tells a shocking story of the month long imprisonment of a group of Dalit women and children displaced by Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery. The testimonies provide clear evidence of the collusion of Vedanta and police working as one, and show the callous nature of their outright disregard for human rights or basic morality. Foil Vedanta is now following this case up with local lawyers.

Please also see the video interview with Padma Tandi here.

On 10th June 2013, a team of three Foil Vedanta activists visited Badapada village in Lanjigarh. Badapada is a Dalit village, where the villagers had lost agricultural land to Vedanta when the company was establishing the Lanjigarh refinery. As a result of Vedanta not adhering to any of its resettlement promises, the villagers have registered an association called “Vedanta Land Loser’s Association”, to demand proper implementation of the rehabilitation processes and to seek accountability from Vedanta and the state for promises made to them before the refinery was set up on their land. Mr. Kumar, a retired school teacher, who is the President of the Vedanta Land Loser’s Association, told us,

 

Badapada women blockade the railway into Lanjigarh in May 2011

The agricultural lands of the Dalits in this village were taken away by Vedanta. We were promised Rs 3 lakh compensation, but the compensation provided to us has been a scam and very erratic, people have received varying amounts ranging from 25k to 1 lakh rupees. We have done so much Andolan. We have organised numerous demonstrations and rallies, we blocked the nearby railway line on one occasion. We have petitioned and submitted memorandums to everyone — the Chief Minister, the Governor, the Orissa Human Rights Commission, Jairam Ramesh, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Still there has been no solution. No-one is listening to the poor. Everyone one is the company’s ‘dalal’ (agent). We have had to face so much pain and hardship because of Vedanta, and we are constantly threatened and harassed. The company has completely destroyed our lives. Our villagers were promised jobs in the refinery, till date it has not given anyone in the village even a coolie’s job. This company is full of lies. We do not have our lands anymore, and we do not have any jobs. How are we supposed to survive? Who will listen to the poor? Everyone has been bought by the company”

 

An incident of blatant human and child rights violation emerged from the village, adding to a series of incidents so far. The villagers informed us that twelve women from the village had been arrested on false cases on 7th April 2013. They had been kept in jail for one month and three days. What was most shocking was that there were also two minor children, both of two years of age who had also been kept in custody with their mothers during this period of time. This is a very serious violation by the Odisha state police. We immediately had a impromptu meeting of the ten women who had been arrested. Initially, the women were scared to give any statements, given their harrowing experience in jail. However, on being persuaded by other villagers, they opened up and provided us with some very shocking testimonies.

 

I am a widow, whose hardships have increased many fold ever since the company came here. I was walking around the refinery area, when I slipped and fell down, and hurt myself. The other women ran towards me to make sure that I was ok. Suddenly, several policemen arrived and started beating me. They also dragged and pulled the other women” —- Padma Tandi

 

We had ran to see if Padma was ok. Once the police arrived, they started manhandling us. There were two women police, but they were just standing by. The male policeman started dragging and pushing us, and pulled our hair. All of us were forcibly put inside a Vedanta vehicle. That was the most atrocious thing. Why was the state police dragging us into a Vedanta vehicle? If they had to arrest us, they should taken us in a police van, not in a Vedanta gaari! We were taken straight to the Bhawanipatna court.” – Kanchono Suna

 

They took two children also into jail. My son, Bulbul Nihal, two yrs and Aditya Nihal, son of Saraswati Nayak, also two yrs – were in jail with us. What crimes have these little children, who have just learnt to speak, committed? The police and company have no right to keep kids in jail like this!” – Doini Nihal

 

“ We have no proper information about the court case that has been registered against us. We saw our lawyer being paid money in the police station. The police and lawyers have been bought by the company. There is no-one to listen to the cries of the poor. When the police had taken us in the Vedanta vehicle on 7th April, which was a Sunday, we were told that we would be released by the following Tuesday, the 9th. However, we stayed in jail for a whole month and three days. The police and company is trying to scare us, to intimidate us, so that they can break our will, our voice and our struggle.” – Jamuna Durga

 

Following are the names of the women and children arrested by the police, as recalled by the villagers:

  1. Suryamukhi Tandey
  2. Saraswati Nayak and 2 year old child, Aditya Nayak
  3. Jamuna Durga
  4. Kanchona Suna
  5. Savita Harijan
  6. Babuli Harijan
  7. Maya Suni
  8. Guloni Harijan
  9. Neela Batisona
  10. Gourimoni Tandi
  11. Doini Nihal, and 2year old child, Bulbul Nihal

 

The women were also not provided the free legal aid they are legally supposed to have access to as Dalits. They stressed how they do not have the financial resources to engage with the legal process, and hence it is used a pressure tactic by Vedanta to silence voices.

 

Foil Vedanta members are now trying to get access to court documents on this incident, and we will be updating very soon in this regard.

 

Posted:  June 19th, 2013

 

Vedanta’s #CSR : Resettlement ‘prison’ and false arrests at Lanjigarh #WTFnews


18th June, 2013.  This report comes direct from members of the Foil Vedanta team on the ground in Niyamgiri:

Vedanta’s resettlment colony at Lanjigarh with Niyamgiri

Vedanta Raj- Age of New License Raj and Draconian Policing

On 7th June 2013, a four member team visited the Vedanta re-settlement colony in Lanjigarh, known as Vedanta Nagar, to interview a few people people settled there. As soon as we entered the colony, Vedanta’s Public Relations Officer – Mr. Siddharth Behera, and the Associate officer in charge of the colony – Mr Srikant Bohidar appeared riding a motorcycle, and started questioning us about what we were doing there and who we were. One of our team was a journalist with a press card, when he showed this one of the officers looked particularly worried. He started calling up higher level officials.

 

While two of us talked to these purveyors of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, the other two rushed to the house of Tula Dei whom we knew from before. Tula Dei and her family, from Sindhabahili village, was among the people who had vehemently resisted Vedanta when the refinery was being built in Lanjigarh, for which twelve villages were cleared. She and her family had refused to vacate their house and did not succumb to the pressure and force tactics applied by Vedanta. When we met Tula Dei, she informed us that they had to ultimately vacate their house and accept Vedanta’s resettlement package, as the poisonous smoke and dust from the refinery were affecting her and her families’ health and made it impossible to live there any longer. She complained how she still had not received her ‘patta’ and land document papers from Vedanta, and they had been not given the promised settlement money. She also informed us that her husband had been arrested by the police in January 2013, and has been in jail since then. She had not been provided any details by the police regarding what charges her husband had been arrested on –

Tula Dei resisting eviction from her old house

I have no idea why they arrested my husband. The police and lawyers do not give us any details. False charges must have been framed against my husband. They are constantly trying to intimidate and harass us. Whenever we raise our voice in protest, they frame some charge and arrest a family member. Our family’s livelihood has been completely destroyed. Vedanta has ruined our lives ever since it came here. Fear and injustice is all we have known since then”

 

As we were taking this interview with our video camera, the Vedanta official who was questioning us earlier, arrived at Tula Dei’s house, along with another CSR official. When we asked them why Tula Dei had not received any land documents yet, one of them replied saying,

 

These people came on the third and last phase, so their documentation is delayed. It should arrive in a week’s time. Initially they had resisted the company, but later on because of dust and other problems, they decided to accept the company’s package”.

 

This official however, denied having mentioned ‘dust and other problems’ when we interrogated him just seconds later about villagers around the refinery and resettled villagers, having TB and other diseases, —- “they drink too much, it has nothing to do with the refinery or pollution”, he said. We then asked them if we could get some documents about the rehabilitation process, at which we were told that we need to go to the Lanjigarh office for that.

 

Vedanta Aluminium‘s Jharsuguda resettlement colony

At this point, two of us left while the other two continued to face questions from the two employees of Vedanta. Siddharth Behera – who had introduced himself as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Vedanta began asking questions about the press card, calling the TV station to check that he really was a journalist. When this was confirmed he suggested they came to the Vedanta Aluminium office to speak to another PR Officer – Mr Bhagwan Hota. Later on we discovered that Mr Siddarth was not a company spokesperson but a local agent.

 

The other two of us were escorted to the bus stop outside Vedanta Nagar. We were prevented from talking to or meeting any more people in the resettlement colony. At the Lanjigarh bus-stop, two more senior employees of Vedanta’s CSR division arrived, making the number of people who had so far questioned us to four. While we were speaking to them, one of the senior employees took our photographs. They wanted us to show them our identity proofs and bombarded us with all sorts of questions regarding the purpose of our visit. In the end, one of the senior officials said, “Write a positive report, ok?”.

 

Lanjigarh refinery

This incident is indeed outrageous. Four CSR officials had come to question us within less than half an hour of our presence in the rehabilitation colony. Vedanta’s CSR is the establishment of a heinous system of surveillance and intimidation. The resettlement colony is like a fortress, where any ‘outsider’ presence is strictly monitored. This shows how scared Vedanta is of stories of its human rights violations and dubious rehabilitation reaching out to the public. This incident clearly elucidates that CSR officials of Vedanta are the company’s puppets, whose ‘responsibility’ is to police people, to hide the truth and to monotonously narrate lies of “Mining happiness”, of success stories of ‘development’ and ‘progress’. The resettlement complex is indeed Vedanta’s ‘colony’, where it has shamelessly set up mechanisms of draconian policing —- a neo-colonial License Raj on people who lie in fear at the margins and in whose name we call for ‘development’.

Posted:  June 18th, 2013   

 

Narendra Modi- Can’t get away with murder #ishratjahan


June 18, 2013

Manoj Joshi, The Hindu

MISSING LINKS:Officers of forensic and intelligence agencies reconstructing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. —PHOTO: PTI

MISSING LINKS:Officers of forensic and intelligence agencies reconstructing the Ishrat Jahan encounter case on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. —PHOTO: PTI

The Ishrat Jahan encounter case is like the proverbial can of worms whose contents have already spilled out. Not only has it shone the spotlight on the ruthless and, possibly, illegal manner in which the police and intelligence agencies fight terrorism, it has also exposed the Narendra Modi government’s poor record of managing the Gujarat police. And now, it has created schisms within the State police force, and between the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

At the outset, some plain facts: first, fake “encounter killings” — the term used for extrajudicial execution of criminals and alleged terrorists by the police — are not unique to Gujarat. Hundreds of them take place across the country and the policemen involved are often feted as “encounter specialists” whereas, in fact, what they specialise in is the cold-blooded and completely illegal executions of unarmed persons.

Second, there is no exemption for anyone in India’s security set-up to carry out extra-judicial executions. In other words, there is no Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) which indemnifies the State police, politicians or Central intelligence officials from killing alleged terrorists without judicial due process.

To harm Modi

Writing on his website earlier this month, the BJP leader, Arun Jaitley, reiterated the Gujarat police account that the Ishrat group was out to assassinate Mr. Modi and, based on information provided by the IB, it was intercepted and its four members killed in the encounter; after backing the State police version, the Union government changed tack and was now trying to use the case to attack the BJP.

A few “disgruntled police officials” formed the core of the CBI’s case and an effort was being made to target BJP ministers like Amit Shah and Gulab Chand Kataria of Rajasthan with the eventual aim of hitting at Mr. Modi. Now, the Union government had taken it a step further by undermining the IB in its pernicious campaign to harm Mr. Modi and the BJP.

Mr. Jaitley, also the former Union Law Minister during National Democratic Alliance rule, has not said much about the other extra-judicial killings in Gujarat. A Supreme Court mandated Special Task Force headed by a retired Justice H.S. Bedi is investigating 16 encounters that took place between 2003-2006 in Gujarat. In most of the encounters, those killed were alleged to be targeting Mr. Modi and other top BJP ministers in the State. This was the accusation against Sameer Khan Pathan, Sadiq Jamal, Mahendra Jadav, Ganesh Khunte, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Tulsi Prajapati, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh (aka Pranesh Pillai), Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana. It is another story that most were petty criminals and there is no real evidence that they were out to kill Mr. Modi.

As for Ishrat and her companions, there is considerable mystery about their antecedents and how they came together. As Mr. Jaitley points out, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) journal, Ghazwa Times , acknowledged her as a cadre, and later withdrew its claim. News leaks claim that the LeT operative, David Coleman Headley (Daood Gilani), had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Ishrat had been recruited by the LeT and that this fact had been communicated to the Indian intelligence, or the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). But there is no reference to Ishrat in the NIA’s report of Headley which was made available to the media and which did have some references to other LeT plots that Headley was aware of. There is something to the issue though since G.K. Pillai, the Union Home Secretary in 2009, acknowledged an affidavit of his ministry to the Gujarat High Court that said there was intelligence information that Ishrat and her companions were terror suspects. More recently, in 2011, Mr. Pillai had reiterated that he stood by the IB tip that linked Ishrat Jahan to an LeT module.

But whether or not Ishrat and her group were terrorists is not the issue. What the Gujarat police officials are being charged with is extra-judicial killing. There are no exemptions in the law for carrying out fake encounters even if the targets are terrorists. The IB is not exempt from the operation of the law of the land either. Mr. Jaitley, of all people, should know that only the judiciary has the right to order an execution, and, after due process.

The ugly truth is that the Gujarat government cynically used the instrument of extra-judicial executions to burnish their own anti-Muslim credentials. In the process, their police officials and, possibly, their ministers, have broken the law. The behaviour of Gujarat police officers such as D.G. Vanzara among others was perhaps most brazen because of the protection they felt that they had from the then Home minister Amit Shah, and, possibly, Mr. Modi. Murder is a very grave charge, and it is far more serious when those accused of it are officials or ministers of the government sworn to uphold the law of the land. Whether or not the police officials who have given the CBI evidence of the wrongdoings of the Gujarat police officers are disgruntled doesn’t really matter. What matters is the truth, and the legal consequences thereafter.

Then there is the issue of the IB. Whether or not Rajendra Kumar, the IB Joint Director in Gujarat, crossed a legal threshold can only be determined through further investigation, and may eventually have to be dealt with by the courts. But there has been something deeply disturbing about the manner in which India’s internal intelligence agency has worked on some terrorism cases in the past. There are several incidents — the Ansal Plaza “encounter” of 2002, or the 2006 attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters, to name just two — which appear to have been staged for domestic political effect, rather than any other purpose. Incidentally, one of the incidents was during the rule of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the other, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Independent body

There are no independent means of verifying whether the IB stays within the red lines of the law when it gathers intelligence information or processes and forwards it to State police forces because there is no oversight mechanism to ensure that. Alone among the democracies, India keeps its intelligence agencies away from parliamentary oversight and, indeed, there is little or no internal oversight either. Likewise, short of recourse to the courts, there are no means available to the citizen to take up the issue of police excesses. The result is the persistence of a culture of impunity among the police and intelligence authorities.

Hopefully, on the issue of the Gujarat extra-judicial killings, the courts will weigh the evidence that the SIT and CBI have gathered. Those accused will have the opportunity to respond, and the courts will weigh the evidence and pronounce their verdict. But given the gravity of the charges, there must be some greater takeaway for our security set-up. First, there is the need for a mechanism to ensure that charges of police excesses are quickly investigated and dealt with. Second, terrorism or no terrorism, the intelligence agencies of the country need to function within the law, and this is not something that can be done on the basis of self-certification, but a fact established through an independent, internal inspectorate, as well as a larger parliamentary oversight system.

(Manoj Joshi is Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation and a member of the National Security Task Force 2011-2012, whose recommendations are before the Cabinet Committee on Security.)

The new twists in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case highlight the need for parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies

 

#India – Women in search of work being kidnapped #Vaw


जहाँ काम खोजने आए मजदूर होते हैं अगवा…

सलमान रावी

बीबीसी संवाददाता, भद्राचलम (आंध्र प्रदेश) से

 मंगलवार, 18 जून, 2013 को 07:13 IST तक के समाचार

छत्तीसगढ़ में सुरक्षा बलों और माओवादियों के बीच हो रही हिंसा के कारण बड़ी संख्या में दक्षिण बस्तर के रहने वाले आदिवासी रोज़गार की तलाश में दक्षिण भारत के विभिन्न राज्यों की तरफ रुख कर रहे हैं.

मगर इनके लिए रोज़गार की तलाश भी उतनी आसान नहीं है क्योंकि संगठित गिरोह अब इनका अपहरण कर रहे हैं और इन्हें बंधुआ मजदूर बनने पर मजबूर कर रहे हैं.

 

बस्तर से बसों में बैठकर आन्ध्र प्रदेश जाने वाले इन मजदूरों को भद्राचलम के सरकारी बस स्टैंड से 15 किलोमीटर पहले ही संगठित गिरोहों द्वारा जबरन उतार लिया जाता है.

उसके बाद इनके ना चाहने के बावजूद तमिल नाडु, गोवा, कर्नाटक जैसे राज्यों में इन्हें ईंट भट्ठों, खेतों या फैक्टरियों में काम करने भेज दिया जाता है वो भी औने पौने पारिश्रमिक के साथ.

इस समस्या नें अब इतना विकराल रूप धारण कर लिया है कि आन्ध्र प्रदेश की सरकार नें एक टास्क फ़ोर्स के गठन का निर्णय किया है. भद्राचलम के सब कलक्टर भरत गुप्ता का कहना है कि दल में सामाजिक संगठन के कार्यकर्ताओं के अलावा, श्रम विभाग और पुलिस के अधिकारी शामिल होंगे.

मन में डर

सुबह का वक़्त है और आन्ध्र प्रदेश के भद्राचलम के सारपाका बस स्टैंड पर छत्तीसगढ़ के दंतेवाड़ा से आए कुछ आदिवासी इंतज़ार कर रहे हैं.

ये लोग अपने एजेंट की राह देख रहे हैं. जो उन्हें वादे के मुताबिक मजदूरी दिलवाएगा.

कई सौ किलोमीटर के सफ़र के बाद भी थकान इनके चेहरों पर नज़र नहीं आती.

इनके सफ़र से ज्यादा तकलीफदेह वो ज़िन्दगी है जिसे वो अपने पीछे दंतेवाडा जिले में अपने गाँव में ही छोड़कर आये हैं.

मगर इस जमात में शामिल नौजवान, औरतें और बुज़ुर्ग डरे हुए हैं.

इनमे से कोई कुछ बताना नहीं चाहता.

मुझे बताया गया कि ऐसा इस लिए है क्योंकि ये सब लोग एजेंटों की कड़ी निगरानी में हैं.

‘जबरन कब्ज़े में’

कुछ ऐसा ही भद्राचलम के आंबेडकर चौक के पास का नज़ारा है जहाँ एक दूसरा समूह सुकमा से आई बस से उतर कर इंतज़ार कर रहा है.

मगर भद्राचलम का सरकारी बस स्टैंड आज आम दिनों की तरह नहीं है.

यहाँ वो मजदूर नदारद हैं जोक्लिक करें छत्तीसगढ़ से भद्राचलम होते हुए दक्षिण भारत के दूसरे राज्यों में भेजे जाते हैं और वो एजेंट भी लापता हैं जो इन्हें जबरन भेजने का काम करते हैं.

आंध्र प्रदेश स्टेट रोडवेज ट्रांसपोर्ट कॉरपोरेशन के इस बस स्टैंड में तैनात अधिकारी विजय बताते हैं कि इन एजेंटों को हमारे पहुँचने की खबर मिल गई है.

वो कहते हैं, “इन लोगों को पता चल गया है कि बीबीसी के लोग यहाँ आए हैं. इस लिए कोई भी एजेंट नज़र नहीं आ रहा है. हम यहाँ रोज़ इस बस स्टैंड पर तमाशा देखते हैं. छत्तीसगढ़ से आने वाली बसों का एजेंट यहाँ बैठकर इंतज़ार करते हैं. जैसे ही बस आती है ये लोग उनपर टूट पड़ते हैं और आने वाले आदिवासियों को जबरन अपने कब्जे में ले लेते हैं.”

‘मोटा कमीशन’

रोज़ की तरह एजेंट तो ग़ायब हैं मगर मैंने पता लगाते हुए कुछ एक एजेंटों के ठिकाने पर जाकर उनसे मुलाक़ात की तो इस पूरे मामले से पर्दा उठने लगा.

एजेंटों ने नाम नहीं बताने की शर्त पर यह बताया कि छत्तीसगढ़ से आए क्लिक करें मजदूरों का भद्राचलम से अपहरण कर लिया जाता है और फिर उन्हें बंधुआ मजदूर के रूप में काम करने को मजबूर होना पड़ता है.

भद्राचलम तक बस लेकर आने वाले एक ड्राईवर ने नाम नहीं उजागर करने की शर्त पर बताया, “अगर आपको लगता है कि भद्राचलम के बस स्टैंड पर इन्हें उतारा जाता है तो आप ग़लतफ़हमी में हैं. भद्राचलम बस स्टैंड पहुँचने से पंद्रह किलोमीटर पहले ही ये एजेंट और इनके गुर्गों से बसों को जबरन रुकवा लेते हैं और उनमे सवार आदिवासियों को उतार लेते हैं. फिर इन्हें दूसरी गाडी से वहां भेज दिया जाता है जहाँ के लिए इन्हें मोटा कमीशन मिलता है.”

‘डरा धमकाकर’

शहर के एक प्रमुख स्थान पर मौजूद मजदूर सप्लाई करने वाली एजेंसी के संचालक नें बीबीसी से बात करते हुए बताया कि कई महीनों तक मजदूरी करने की बाद कुछ मजदूरों को तो घर लौटने के लिए भीख तक मांगनी पड़ती है.

उनका कहना है कि मजदूरों की मजदूरी भी मालिकों से एजेंट ही ले लेते हैं ये कहते हुए कि जब वो काम कर वापस घर लौटेंगे तो उन्हें पैसे मिल जायेंगे. मगर जब मजदूर वापस लौटते हैं तो इन एजेंटों का कोई अता पता नहीं होता. अपने आपको ठगा हुआ महसूस कर ये आदिवासी बस संचालकों से फ़रियाद कर किसी तरह अपने गावों वापस लौट पाते हैं.

वहीं ‘सितारा’ नाम के एक जन संगठन से जुड़े डाक्टर शेख हनीफ का कहना है कि मजदूरों को डरा धमका कर उन्हें दूसरी जगहों पर मजदूरी के लिए भेजने वाले लोग संगठित होकर काम कर रहे हैं.

मजदूरों की मंडी

हनीफ का कहना है कि कुछ दिनों पहले उन्होंने कई मामले पकड़े और पुलिस की मदद मांगी.

वो कहते हैं कि उनके संस्था के हस्तक्षेप के बाद पुलिस ने कार्रवाई भी कि. मगर अहिस्ता अहिस्ता ये एजेंट फिर से मज़बूत हो गए क्योंकि ये लोग बहुत संगठित होकर काम करते हैं.

खम्मम जिला प्रशासन को अब लगने लगा है कि एजेंट भद्राचलम को मजदूरों की मंडी की तरह इस्तेमाल कर रहे हैं.

क्योंकि यहाँ ओडिशा और छत्तीसगढ़ से बड़ी संख्या में आदिवासियों का आना जाना होता है.

मानव तस्करी पर रोक

भद्राचलम के सब कलक्टर डाक्टर भरत गुप्ता नें बीबीसी को बताया कि प्रशासन नें इस तरह की गतिविधि का संज्ञान लिया है और जल्द ही एक टास्क फ़ोर्स का गठन किया जा रहा है जो इस तरह की मानव तस्करी पर रोक लगाने की दिशा में काम करेगा.

कहीं क्लिक करें माओवादी छापामारों का फरमान तो कहीं सुरक्षा बलों की हलचल से परेशान छत्तीसगढ़ के क्लिक करें आदिवासी ये सोच कर अपने आशियानों को छोड़ कर निकल रहे हैं कि उन्हें एक बेहतर ज़िन्दगी मिलेगी.

लेकिन मानव तस्करों के बड़े संगठित गिरोहों ने उनकी जिंदगियों को और मुश्किल में डाल दिया है.

इनके लिए तो ये ऐसा है कि मानो आसमान से गिरे तो खजूर पर जा अटके.

(क्लिक करें बीबीसी हिन्दी के क्लिक करें एंड्रॉएड ऐप के लिए आप क्लिक करें यहां क्लिक कर सकतें हैं. आप हमें क्लिक करें फ़ेसबुक और क्लिक करें ट्विटर पर क्लिक करें फ़ॉलोभी कर सकते हैं.)

 

Autonomy for tribal communities in central India #indigenousrights


The Hindu : June 18, 2013

Right place, wrong arrangement

Sonum Gayatri Malhotra, 

Moving governance of tribal areas in central India from the Fifth to the Sixth Schedule will help address the demand for autonomy

(Sonum Gayatri Malhotra is with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.)

The targeted attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh against the State Congress leadership in which V.C. Shukla, Mahendra Karma and the party’s other top leaders were killed has rekindled a familiar debate on the military aspects of counterinsurgency. However, the continuing cycle of violence in the State underscores the need for a closer examination of the social and political impact of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution through which the tribal areas of peninsular India are governed.

India’s population consists of 100 million tribal people who have constitutionally been addressed via two distinct avenues. The Fifth Schedule applies to an overwhelming majority of India’s tribes in nine States, while the Sixth Schedule covers areas that are settled in the northeastern States bordering China and Myanmar. Bastar district in Chhattisgarh is governed by the Fifth Schedule, but it wants to move into the Sixth Schedule.

The Sixth Schedule gives tribal communities considerable autonomy; The States of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Mizoram are autonomous regions under the Sixth Schedule. The role of the Governor and the State are subject to significant limitations, with greater powers devolved locally. The District Council and the Regional Council under the Sixth Schedule have real power to make laws, possibility on the various legislative subjects, receiving grants-in-aids from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the costs of schemes for development, health care, education, roads and regulatory powers to state control. The mandate towards Devolution, deconcentration and divestment determines the protection of their customs, better economic development and most importantly ethnic security.

The Fifth Schedule on the other hand fails because it has never been applied. Recent parliamentary moves to provide greater autonomy within the Fifth Schedule have not had the desired results. The 1996 PESA or Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act should have been a landmark for the tribal communities. It mandates the state to devolve certain political, administrative and fiscal powers to local governments elected by the communities. This became exclusive to the Fifth Schedule areas, to promote tribal self-government. PESA was meant to benefit not only the majority of tribals but also extended to cover minority non-tribal communities. It guarantees tribes half of the seats in the elected local governments and the seat of the chairperson at all hierarchical levels of the Panchayat system.

Samatha judgment

PESA was considered the most logical step in the Fifth Schedule areas to ensure tribal welfare and accountability. But, alas, it has not been properly implemented. Tribal communities have progressively been denied self-government and rights to their communities’ natural resources that should have been provided under the legislation. In its 1997 Samatha decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Schedule enjoined Governors to bar purchase of tribal land for mining activity by any entity that was not state-owned. This judgment however, led to an opposite reaction from the Ministry of Mines, and subsequent appeals from the Andhra Pradesh government claiming that Samatha would have an adverse effect not only on the mining sector but also on non-agricultural activities especially industrial activity and hence would impact the economic development throughout the country. In response, the Governors were then given unfettered authority in the transfer of Scheduled Tribe land to the government and allotment to non-tribals, altering the balance of power and undermining the stated goal of tribal autonomy.

Other examples abound, including the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Rights Act of December 2006, which ostensibly recognises the right of communities to protect and manage their forests (as does PESA), but only if the state decides whether a certain region is denoted as Village Forest or Reserved Forest. In this process, many communities are evicted without a proper channel of rehabilitation.

For these reasons, it is evident that PESA and the Fifth Schedule have been counterproductive, inconsistent in addressing issues regarding tribal rights and the propensity of failure justifies serious debates on the existing endeavours.

Many tribal voices are therefore demanding introduction of the Sixth Schedule in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district, which would give them a special status to participate directly in governance as in the North East States currently under the Sixth Schedule.

Furthermore, the Sixth Schedule has certain features that can be implanted in any governance model for tribal areas, particularly concepts of constitutional and legislative subjects that are exclusive to local governments. An autonomous district council will give greater role in directing administrative requirements without depending on the Central State structure.

However, the working of a system is always different from the Idea of it. The Sixth Schedule that embodies autonomy has its own shortcomings; breakdown of laws, elections not being contested, rather than empowerment there is exclusion that fails to provide much-needed protection to tribes in the absence of political will, and, live by the mercy of government funds.

But in spite of the negatives underlying the Sixth Schedule, Bastar district envisages a true form of local bodies like the District Council and Regional Council that have provided a fair degree of autonomy.

(Sonum Gayatri Malhotra is with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.)

Press Release- Around 10,000 farmers from 44 affected villages march against the Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region(SIR) #Gujarat


Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG)

A-302, Sharan Residency-1, Near Lohana Chhatralaya, Vasna, Ahmedabad

Contact: Lalji Desai 9727589344 Sagar Rabari 9409307693

 

 

Date: 18th June 2013

 

PRESS NOTE

 

An organised, disciplined protest against the Mandal-Bechraji SIR

 

More than 10,000 men and women in 500 tractors, 50-60 motor cycles, 10 mini-trucks and 50 four-wheeled vehicles descend into Gandhinagar to express their anger

 

Government efforts to break the movement fail

 

The government projects on the one hand that the people are happy with the Mandal-Bechraji SIR announcement. On the other hand, the government and its representatives Ms. Anandiben Patel, Mr. Nitin Patel and Mr. Saurabh Patel, Mr. Bhupendrasinh Chudasma and the Secretary to the CM Mr. A.K. Sharma were compelled to invite representatives of the anti-SIR movement to the Circuit House in Gandhinagar on the morning of 17th June 2013. The government’s enthusiasm to meet with the representatives of the people shows that the movement is succeeding. However, the pronouncements of the government representatives signifying nothing have left the people disappointed.

 

The government also tried unsuccessfully to stall the people’s plan for a peaceful Tractor Rally to Gandhinagar on the 18th of June. Unprecedented police arrangements were made, since the night of 17th, on the entire rally route. The people were made to go from one office to another, one block to another to secure permission for the rally route. Despite all of this, the people assembled by 8 a.m. on 18th and the rally commenced from village Vithlapur at 8.30 a.m. There were 500 tractors, 50-60 motorcycles, 10 mini-trucks and 50 4-wheelers in the entire rally. On the entire rally route one could hear slogans like “Tell SIR, no Sir”, “Remove SIR, save agriculture”, “The village land belongs to the village, not to the government” and “We will give up our lives, not our land”. The government also tried to enforce a change in the rally route but seeing the turnout of the people and their anger, they let the rally pass on the pre-determined route.

 

Several state and national-level movements and organisations have lent their support and solidarity to this movement. Those in support include Gujarat Lok Samiti, Gujarat Sarvodaya Mandal, PUCL, Bhavnagar District Gram Bachao Samiti, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM), Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, AWAG, Gujarat Khet Vikas Parishad, Paryavaran Mitra, Paryavaran Santri, Bandhara Bachao Andolan – Mahuva, Kinara Bachao Andolan – Umargaon, Lok Andolan Gujarat, Jyoti Karmachari Mandal, Vadodara Kamdar Union, Documentation and Study Centre for Action, SUCI, Radical Socialist – Gujarat, Gram Vikas Trust – Dwarka, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), Lok Sangharsh Samiti, Gujarat Anumukti Andolan, apart from many individuals.

 

The Revenue Minister Ms. Anandiben Patel invited the representatives of 44 villages in the agitation to meet her this evening. At the time of writing this, the representatives were in talks with the Minister.

 

This project, being anti-farmers and unconstitutional, it poses an intellectual, organisational, legal and constitutional challenge to the GoG. The organisational strength has forced the government to concede, rather unwillingly, that this is an organisation and not a mob.

 

The rally finally converged in the Andolan Chhavni in Gandhinagar. The meeting was being managed by a well-known activist of Gujarat Mr. Raju Purohit, and was addressed by, among others, Dr. Kanubhai Kalsariya, former Finance Minister of Gujarat Mr. Sanat Mehta, Mr. Y. K. Alagh, Jayesh Patel of Olpad anti-SIR movement, Lalji Desai, Mr. Rajni Dave of Bhumiputra, and the letters of support and solidarity from noted Gandhians Shri Narayan Desai and Shri Chunibhai Vaidya were also read out.

 

This meeting has demonstrated its resolution and firmness to oppose such anti-people projects of the government. This rally is the first public statement of the movement, where people, in one voice, made their anger and protest clear. The meeting ended with people taking a pledge to not part with even an inch of their land. It is hoped that the government heeds the warning of the people else this movement will gather strength and become more widespread.

 

Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat

Village

Representative

Village

Representative

Hansalpur Ajmalbhai thakor Vanpardi Bharatbhai laxman bhai patel
Sitapur Kanubhai Bharwad Dalod Dhanshyam bhai patel
zanzarwa Mayankbhai Vinjhvada Manubhai/nattubhai
Nayakpur Nayanbhai patel Varmor Pawra sahvdevbhai
Vinchand Prabotbhai bhawanbhai patel Dekawada Kadubha
Jhanlisada Thakor ranchodjee kamajee Ratanpura Nattubha
Dhadana Kathuba Nana karanpura Nattubhai
ooghroj Saman sinh Kanjh Amaratbhai
Vasna (kunnpur) Amarat bhai Rampura Kunwarsinh bhai
Oogrojpura Sarpanch shri Shihor Hasmukhbhai ambalal patel
Kunnpur Prahladbhai govindbhai patel Navyani Bhawojee thakor
Alampura Ashwinbhai Manawada Kadubhai thakor
Susiya Merajee thakor Gosanda Pratapbhai thakor
Valevada Prabhujee thakor Chatrot Jeevanbhai
Vanod Narangbhai/ashokbhai Panwa Rashikhbhai
Aerwada Ghanshyambhai Bunbwana Motibhai
Aeswada Sukhdevbhai Vandgam Kaushik

 

For more information

Lalji Desai                                                                                                       Sagar Rabari

 

 

Stop Press:- Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel, accepted the memorandum of the representatives of the movement, but had nothing to say on behalf of Gujarat Government.


PRESS NOTE

 

તારીખ – ૧૮/૬/૨૦૧૩

 

  • આખા ગુજરાતને ઔધોગિક વસાહત  GIDC બનાવવા નીકળેલી સરકાર લોકોના આંદોલનને દબાવવાના તમામ નિષ્ફળ પ્રયાસો કરવા બે દિવસથી કામે લાગી છે.
  • માંડલ – બેચરાજી સર સામે લોકોનો વિરોધ નથી તેમ દર્શાવવા નિષ્ફળ પ્રયાસો ગુજરાત સરકાર કરી રહી છે.
  • સર નો વિરોધ કરતાં લોકો ટોળામાં નહીંપણ ૫૦૦ જેટલા ટ્રેક્ટરો, ૫૦-૬૦ મોટર સાઈકલો, ૧૦ મીનીટ્રક, અને આશરે ૫૦ ફોર વ્હીલ વાહનોમાં ૧૦૦૦૦ થી વધુ ખેડૂતો બહેનો-ભાઈઓ એક સંગઠન તરીકે ઉમટી પડ્યા હતા

 

 

એક તરફ લોકો માંડલ – બેચરાજીના ‘સર’થી ખુશ હોય અને તેમણે કોઈ વાંધો ના હોય તેવો ભ્રમ પેદા કરવાની કોશિશ અને બીજી તરફ લોકોના વાંધા અને આક્રોશને કારણે ગુજરાત સરકારના મુખ્યમંત્રી પછીની હરોળના મંત્રીઓ આનંદીબેન પટેલ, નિતિનભાઈ પટેલ, સૌરભભાઈ પટેલ, ભૂપેન્દ્રસિંહ ચુડાસમા અને મુખ્યમંત્રીના સચિવ એ.કે.શર્માએ ૪૪ ગામના કેટલાક વ્યક્તિઓ સાથે સામેથી ગામના લોકોને આમંત્રણ આપી ગાંધીનગર સર્કિટ હાઉસમાં મીટિંગ કરવાની તા. ૧૭/૮/૨૦૧૩ને સોમવારના રોજ ફરજ પડી હતી. લોકોને મળવાની સરકારમાં ઊભી થયેલી આ તાલાવેલી દર્શાવે છે કે લોકોનો વિરોધ, આક્રોશ અને જનઆંદોલન અસરકારક બની રહ્યા છે. ૨ કલાક ચાલેલી મિટિંગમાં ભાગ લીધેલ વ્યક્તિઓને સરકારની ગોળ-ગોળ વાતોથી નિરાશા થઈ હતી.

 

ગુજરાત સરકારે એક તરફ લોકો સાથે વાત કરવાનું નાટક અને બીજી તરફ લોકો દ્વારા લોકશાહી ઢબે પોતાનો વિરોધ દર્શાવવા તા. ૧૮/૬/૨૦૧૩ના રોજ આયોજીત ટ્રેક્ટર રેલી જે વિઠલાપુર, સચાણા, સાણંદ, થઈ સરખેજ, પ્રહલાદનગર, માણેકબગ, મીઠાખળી, આશ્રમ રોડ, ગાંધી આશ્રમ  થઈ  ગાંધીનગર ગઈ હતી તેને રોકવાના એનકેન પ્રકારે નિષ્ફળ પ્રયાસો કર્યા હતા.

 

ગુજરાતને ઔધ્યોગિક વસાહત GIDC બનાવવા નીકળેલી ગુજરાત સરકારે ૨૦૦૯માં ‘The Special Investment Region (SIR) Act, 2009’ કાયદો પસાર કર્યો છે. આ કાયદો ભારતના બંધારણની વિરુદ્ધનો અને ઉદ્યોગો માટે ખેતીની જમીનો કોઈ પણ રીતે સંપાદિત કરી શકાય તે માટેનો કાયદો છે. આ કાયદો પોતે એ વાતનો સ્વીકાર કરે છે કે, ખેતી લાયક, ગૌચર અને અન્ય જમીનો કોઈ પણ રીતે ઉદ્યોગો માટે, “વિકાસ”ના નામે સંપાદિત કરી શકાય તે માટેનો કાયદો છે.

 

ગુજરાતમાં અંજાર, સાંથલપુર, વિરમગામ, માંડલ-બેચરાજી, ઓખા, નવલખી, ચાંગોદર, સિમર, ધોલેરા, હાલોલ-સાવલી, પીપાવાવ, દહેજ અને આલિયાબેટમાં ‘સર’વિસ્તાર જાહેર કરેલ છે.

માંડલ-બેચરાજી સર વિસ્તારમાં અમદાવાદ, સુરેન્દ્રનગર, અને મહેસાણા જિલ્લાના કુલ ૪૪ ગામોની (A. અમદાવાદ જિલ્લો, મંડળ તાલુકો – ૧. હાંસલપૂર  (બેચરાજી)– ૮૬૩.૯૬૮૦ હેક્ટર, ૨. સીતાપુર – ૩૬૭૨.૭૨૬૭ હેક્ટર, ૩. ઝાંજરવા – ૮૧૪.૬૫૭૧ હેક્ટર, ૪. આનંદપુરા – ૨૮૯.૩૫૨૨ હેક્ટર, ૫. નાયકપુર – ૧૦૫૦.૭૭૧૯ હેક્ટર,વીંછણ – ૫૩૬.૬૨૭૦, ૭. જાલીસણા – ૧૬૯૯.૦૦૧૬ હેક્ટર, ડઢાણા – ૧૮૯૯.૬૯૯૫ હેક્ટર, ૯. વિઠલાપુર – ૨૨૪૧.૧૦૧૮ હેક્ટર, ૧૦. ઉંઘરોજ – ૧૪૨૪.૮૩૫૧ હેક્ટર,૧૧. વાસણા-કુણપુર – ૫૬૩.૯૨૨૫ હેક્ટર, ૧૨. ઉંઘરોજપુરા – ૬૩૭.૯૦૮૯ હેક્ટર, ૧૩. ઉકરડી – ૮૫૬.૬૮૩૫ હેક્ટર, ૧૪. કુણપુર – ૧૧૮૦.૬૬૧૭ હેક્ટર, ૧૫. વનપરડી– ૮૩૧.૭૦૪૫ હેક્ટર, ૧૬. દાલોદ – ૧૯૧૫.૪૩૮૪ હેક્ટર, ૧૭. વિંઝુવાડા – ૧૬૫૭.૦૯૬૭ હેક્ટર, ૧૮. વરમોર – ૨૧૯૯.૨૭૭૦ હેક્ટર, ૧૯. માનપુરા – ૫૪૦.૧૦૬૦ હેક્ટર, B. જિલ્લો અમદાવાદ, તાલુકો દેત્રોજ – ૨૦. દેકાવાડા – ૧૩૮૩.૭૦૯૧ હેક્ટર, ૨૧. ઉમેદપુરા – ૨૦૭.૮૨૭૫ હેક્ટર, ૨૨. સદાતપુરા – ૧૦૩૧.૨૪૭૮ હેક્ટર, ૨૩. રતનપુરા – ૧૧૯.૪૮૯ હેક્ટર, ૨૪. ભગાપુરા – ૧૨૪૩.૧૬૯૭ હેક્ટર, ૨૫. નાના કરણપુરા – ૧૯૪.૨૦૯૭ હેક્ટર, ૨૬. મોટા કરણપુરા – ૧૩૨.૦૬૯૭ હેક્ટર, ૨૭. કાંઝ –૧૬૨૩.૬૩૮૭ હેક્ટર, ૨૮. છનીયાર – ૧૨૭૯.૪૮૧૯ હેક્ટર, ૨૯. રામપુરા – ૮૪૫.૭૩૦૬ હેક્ટર, ૩૦. ઘટીસણા – ૩૮૧.૨૫૬૬ હેક્ટર, ૩૧. સિહોર – ૯૫૩.૯૧૦૨ હેક્ટર,C. જિલ્લો સુરેન્દ્રનગર, તાલુકો – દસાડા-પાટડી – ૩૨. નાવીયાણી – ૧૫૦૭.૮૧૫૦ હેક્ટર, ૩૩. માનાવાડા – ૫૮૬.૯૦૮૨ હેક્ટર, ૩૪. ગોસાણા – ૬૩૭.૬૮૬૩ હેક્ટર,૩૫. સુસિયા – ૧૭૬૫.૫૭૦૬ હેક્ટર, ૩૬. વાલેવડા – ૧૧૨૩.૦૩૮૨ હેક્ટર, ૩૭. વણોદ – ૩૯૨૫.૫૪૯૭ હેક્ટર, ૩૮. આલમપુરા – ૭૩૪.૦૫૨૫ હેક્ટર, ૩૯. એરવાડા –૫૬૦.૦૪૭૦ હેક્ટર, ૪૦. એછવાડા – ૧૧૯૬.૪૫૮૬ હેક્ટર, ૪૧. છત્રોટ – ૭૬૧.૧૪૬૪ હેક્ટર, ૪૨. પાનવા – ૨૨૦૪.૦૬૯૮ હેક્ટર, ૪૩. બબૂવાણા – ૧૦૮૭.૪૩૫૮ હેક્ટર,D. જિલ્લો મહેસાણા, તાલુકો બેચરાજી – ૪૪. ચાંદણકી – ૫૨૪.૨૧૭૬ હેક્ટર – આ ગામોના તમામ સર્વે નંબર ની કુલ જમીન – ૫૦૮૮૪.૮૩૬૨ હેક્ટર)[1]  ૫૦,૮૮૪ હેક્ટર જમીન ઉદ્યોગો માટે આંચકી લેવા ગુજરાત સરકાર કામે લાગી છે. આ વિસ્તારની ફરતે ૩ કી.મી.ના ‘બફર ઝોન’ વિસ્તારને ઉમેરીએ તો ગામોની સંખ્યા લગભગ ૭૦ સુધી પહોંચે અને ૭૦,૦૦૦ હેક્ટર કરતાં વધારે જમીન અસરગ્રસ્ત થશે. આ સરમાં આટોમોબાઇલ ઉદ્યોગ, ટ્રાન્સપોર્ટ, આઇ.ટી. ઝોન, રીક્રિએશન ઝોન વગેરે નું આયોજન છે.

 

તા. ૧૭/૬/૨૦૧૩ સોમવાર રાતથી રેલીના આખા રૂટપર જાણે મુખ્યમંત્રી નીકળવાના હોય અને સુરક્ષાની વ્યવસ્થા ગોઠવવામાં આવી હોય તેમ પોલીસ ખડકી દેવામાં આવી છે. પોલીસ પરમીશન માટે પણ કાર્યકર્તાઓને એક પોલીસ સ્ટેશનમાંથી બીજા પોલીસ સ્ટેશનમાં અને એક જિલ્લામાંથી બીજા જીલ્લામાં ધક્કા ખવડાવવામાં આવ્યા હતા. આ તમામ પ્રયાસો છતાં ગામના લોકો મક્કમપણે સવારે ૬ વાગ્યાથી ૫૦૦ જેટલા ટ્રેક્ટરો, ૫૦-૬૦ મોટર સાઈકલો, ૧૦ મીનીટ્રક, અને આશરે ૫૦ ફોર વ્હીલ વાહનોમાં ૮૦૦૦ થી વધુ ખેડૂતો બહેનો-ભાઈઓ ઉમટી પડ્યા હતા. રેલી સવારે ૮-૩૦ ના વિઠલાપુરથી રવાના થઈ હતી. રેલી નો આખો રસ્તો  – ‘સર’ને કહો ‘નો સર’ , માંડલ – બેચરાજી સર હટાઓ ખેતી બચાવો, ગામની જમીન ગામની સરકારની નહીં, જાન દેગે, જમીન નહીં ના પોકારો સાથે ગુંજી ઉઠ્યો હતો.

 

જમીન અધિકાર આંદોલન ગુજરાતનાં ટેકામાં રાજ્ય અને દેશના જનસંગઠનો – ગુજરાત લોક સમિતિ, ગુજરાત સર્વોદય મંડળ, PUCL, ભાવનગર જિલ્લા ગ્રામ બચાવ સમિતિ, નેશનલ એલાયન્સ ઓફ પીપલ્સ મુવમેંટ (NAPM), પર્યાવરણ સુરક્ષા સમિતિ, અવાજ, ખેત વિકાસ પરિષદ, પર્યાવરણ મિત્ર, પર્યાવરણ સંત્રી, બંધારા બચાવ આંદોલન – મહુવા, કિનારા બચાવ આંદોલન – ઉમરગામ, લોક આંદોલન ગુજરાત, જ્યોતિ કર્મચારી મંડળ, વડોદરા કામદાર યુનિયન, ડોક્યુમેંટેશન એન્ડ સ્ટડિ સેંટર ફોર એક્શન, SUCI, રેડિકલ સોશિયાલિસ્ટ – ગુજરાત, ગ્રામ વિકાસ ટ્રસ્ટ – દ્વારકા, NTUI, લોક સંઘર્ષ સમિતિ, ગુજરાત અણુમુક્તિ આંદોલનના અને અન્ય અનેક કાર્યકરો પણ આંદોલનના ટેકામાં જોડાયા હતા.

 

તા. ૧૭/૬/૨૦૧૩ સોમવાર ના રોજ લોકોના પ્રશ્નો સાંભળવાનું નાટક કરનાર મંત્રીઓએ આજ રોજ રેલી સ્વરૂપે અગાઉથી જણાવીને માંડલ-બેચરાજી સર વિસ્તારના ૪૪ ગામના ૧૦,૦૦૦ લોકોના પ્રતિનિધિ મંડળને આનંદીબેને મળવા બોલાવ્યા હતા. આ પ્રેસ નોટ લખતા સમયે મંત્રીશ્રી પ્રતિનિધિ મંડળ સાથે વાટાઘાટો કરી રહ્યા છે.

 

આ આખો પ્રોજેકટ ખેતી વિરોધી, ભારતના બંધારણનો છેદ ઉડાડનારું હોવાથી તેની સામે વૈચારિક, સંગઠનાત્મક, કાયદાકીય, બંધારણીય સંઘર્ષનો સામનો કરવા ગુજરાત સરકારને પડકાર છે.

 

સરકારની ઈચ્છા અમદાવાદ ખાતેની સાણંદ ચોકડી થી ખેડૂત રેલી નો રૂટ બદલવાની હતી, પરંતુ સરકારને ખેડૂત સંગઠન અને તેની સંગઠન શક્તિનો ખ્યાલ આવતા રેલીનો રૂટ બદલવાનું માંડવાળ કરવું પડ્યું હતું.

 

 

 

રેલી તેના જાહેર કરેલ રૂટ પ્રમાણેજ શાંતિ અને શિસ્તપૂર્વક આગળ ધપી હતી.

 

આ રેલી તેના સૂત્રો અને સંગઠનાત્મક શક્તિનો પરચો બતાવતી હોવાથી, ગુજરાત સરકારે કમને એક વાતનો સ્વીકાર કરવો પડ્યો હતો કે, “ આ લોકોનું ટોળું નથી, પણ લોકોનું સંગઠન છે”.

 

રેલી અંતે ગાંધીનગર સેક્ટર ૬ ખાતે ઉપવાસી છાવણીના મેદાન માં સભામાં પરિવર્તિત થઈ હતી. લોકોએ આ સભાને, ‘જાન દેગે જમીન નહીં’, જેવા નારા થી ગાજવી મૂકી હતી. આ સભાનું સંચાલન ગુજરાતનાં જાણીતા કર્મશીલ, રાજુભાઈ પુરોહિતએ કર્યું હતું. આ સભાને માંડલ-બેચરાજી સર થી અસરગ્રસ્ત ૪૪ ગામના પ્રતિનિધિઓએ તથા નિરમા આંદોલનના ડો. કનુભાઈ કલસરિયા, ગુજરાતનાં માજી નાણાંમંત્રી સનતભાઈ મેહતા, વાય.કે. અલગ, ઓલપાડ સર સામેના આંદોલનના જયેશભાઈ પટેલ, લાલજીભાઈ દેસાઇ, ભૂમિપુત્રના સંપાદક રજનીભાઇ દવે, અને જાણીતા ગાંધીવાદી વિચારક નારાયણભાઈ દેસાઈ અને સર્વોદય અગ્રણી ચુનીભાઈ વૈદ્ય નો લેખિત શુભેચ્છા સંદેશ વાંચવામાં આવ્યો હતો.

 

આ સભાએ સરકારને પોતાનો સ્પષ્ટ, મક્કમ, વિગતો, મુદાઓ અને નીતિ વિષયક વાંધાઓ સાથેનો પોતાનો વિરોધ રજૂ કર્યો હતો. આ મુદ્દે જાહેરમાં તથ્યો અને વિગતો સાથે સમાજ અને પત્રકારોની હાજરીમાં ચર્ચા કરવા આવાહન આપેલ. આ રેલી અને દેખાવ આંદોલનની શરૂવાત નું પ્રથમ પગલું હતું. લોકોએ એકી અવાજે પોતાની એક ઇંચ પણ જમીન નહીં આપવાનો જાહેર સંકલ્પ કર્યો હતો.

 

છેલ્લે “અભિ તો યે અંગડાઇ હૈ આગે ઔર લડાઈ હૈ” ના મક્કમ નિર્ધાર સાથે સભા પૂરી થઈ હતી. સરકાર સાનમાં વિગતો સાથેની રાજુવત અને વિકાસની સાચી દિશા સમજે તો સારું, નહીં તો આ આંદોલન વધુ ઉગ્ર અને વ્યાપક બનશે.

 

જમીન અધિકાર આંદોલન ગુજરાત


[1] Gujarat Government Gazette – Ex.6-10-2012, [PART-IX]- notification under The Gujarat Special Investment Region Act, 2009, dated-24 September, 2012

 

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