“Functioning of Government on the behest of Corporate is fatal for democracy”
A press meet was organised by NAPM, INSAF, Socialist Front & Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam on the issue of Power Sector-Land Acquisitions-Environment-Violation of Human Rights. Justice Rajindar Sachar – National President, PUCL, Dr. B D Sharma – Bharat Jan Andolan, Praful Bidwai – senior journalist & writer, Prashant Bhushan – senior advocate & social activist, Vijay Pratap, Socialist Front, Madhuresh Kumar,NAPM, Subhash Bhatnagar from Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam and Wilfred D Costa from INSAF condemned the brutal attack on Dr Sunilam (Ex MLA & Fonder President of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti) and Advocate Aradhna Bhargava(President, Mahila Kisan Sangharsh Samiti) by the goons of Adani Power Project Limited in Chindwara, Madhya Pradesh and keeping Ramesh Aggarwal handcuffed in hospital after his arrest in Raigad. They also added that the Government, Police and Administration are working as agents of Corporate and it is fatal for the Democracy.
Former Justice of Delhi High Court, Shri Rajindar Sachar raised doubts on the police’s conduct and their complicity with local administration since it reached after two and half hours of attack on Dr Sunilam and despite of serious injuries they only registered the case of small scuffle. He also said that keeping Ramesh Aggarwal handcuffed in hospital is the height of brutality and such actions cannot be legitimised under any law. He said PUCL will take these issues to the notice of National Commission for Human Rights.
Dr. BD Sharma shared his experience of his visit to the villages of Chindwara where during the Padyatra farmers refused to part with their lands under any circumstances. He said without any Environment clearance Adani Power Project Limited illegitimately started construction on the forcefully acquired land which has to be immediately act upon by the Ministry of Environment through the state government and acquired land should be handed over back to the farmers. He also said that as per the decision taken by Government of India in 1975 a Public Tribunal should be held to estimate the implications of any project in the affected area. He appealed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests to hold a People’s Tribunal in the area again.
Shri Prashant Bhushan, senior advocate, Supreme Court stated that post liberalisation the natural resources of the country are given to private companies in the garb of Public Private Partnership which is responsible for displacement of poor forcing them towards extreme poverty, rampant corruption and total take over by the corporate mafias which are not under anyone’s control.
Dr Sunilam said it is illegal that the land which was bought over by the state government at the price of Rs 1,500-10,000/- per acre in 1986 is being sold now at Rs 13,50,000/- per acre especially when land was used for agricultural purposes even until last year. Dr Sunilam said generation of electricity in the area is only for sole purpose of benefitting Adani Pench Power Limited. He said that Pench Project’s water will be used by Adani. This will displace 31 villages of the region where land is being acquired in the name of Public Interest. He said this Project will destroy agricultural land of almost 150 villages due to ash of the power plant and ash dam water therefore the farmers in the whole area are protesting against this Power Project. He informed that on June 10, 2011 farmers of the area have decided to sow their land as soon as possible and thus Mahapanchayat has been called on June 26, 2011. Dr Sunilam highlighted that the congress goons hired by Adani in connivance with local police and administration are openly threatening to attack him again and villagers with deadly consequences. It is evident that farmer’s movement is under assault but farmers will continue with their peaceful struggle.
Dr Sunilam also released a summary of report compiled by Himanshu Thakkar(South Asia Network on dams, Rivers and People) and told that as per EIA report prepared by Green C has neither given any information on coal and its transport linkages, availability of 33.2 MCM water, impacts on Pench Tiger Project, acquisition of 6541.24 hectare land for Pench plan and 7771 hectare land for Totladoh dam nor it has talked about the effects of Khaparkheda and Koradi electric power plant. Therefore Green C’s report on Adani Thermal Power project is full of flaws and distorted facts. In the past also Green C has given similar reports on Visa Power Limited in Raigarh, Chattisgarh and Kutch Thermal Power Project in Gujarat. Dr Sunilam said in the wake of such conditions the Ministry of Environment should black list Green C.
Madhuresh Kumar, National Organiser of NAPM said that we disapprove the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. He said there is no scope of any amendment in the existing law and there should be a new law to deal with Development Planning. Vijay Pratap, Convenor of Socialist Front said that we socialists protest against any acquisition of land used by farmers for agricultural purposes. Subhash Bhatnagar, Nirman Mazdoor Sangam said that the issue of Adani Power Project and Pench Project is not only related to the uprooting of farmers from 150 villages but also concerns those 50 percent landless farmers in these villages who are on the verge of displacement.
The leaders of other social movements stated that that Congress and BJP party and their central and state governments are trying to violently crush the famer’s movement. Attempts to divide the movement by offering Rs. 1 lakh per acre to few of them have also been made. They have appealed to the NHRC to provide security to Dr Sunilam and investigate the whole incident. They told that when farmers met Minister of Environment and Forests Mr Jairam Ramesh under the leadership of Medha Patkar, he had categorically emphasised that no permission has been granted to Adani Power Project. Despite that construction work is under process which needs to be stopped with immediate effect and constructed structures should be demolished. They declared that social movements will join the peaceful movement of farmers in order to get back their lands.
The meeting was also attended by senior Samjwadi Party Leader and MP Shri Mohan Singh, who strongly condemned the actions of the BJP government and attack on Dr. Sunilam and called for united opposition by the farmers and landless workers of the country to unit against the unmindful industrialisation and urbanisation. Meeting was also addressed by Danish Ali, General Secretary, JD (S), Forward Block General Secretary Comrade Debbrat Biswas, Former Secretary GoI, Ramaswamy Aiyer, Manju Mohan, Gopal Rai, Prof. H M Deshrada, Gandhian Socialist and many other dignatories.
NAPM INSAF Socialist Front Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam
Madhuresh(9818905316) Wilfred D Costa(9825171919) Vijay Pratap(9910770263) Subahsh Bhatnagar(9810810365)
National Alliance of People’s Movements
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