Adivasis and Slum Dwellers oppose builder-police nexus to claim land rights in Mumbai
NAPM condemns police assault of 90 year old senior activist Bhau Bhuskute
19th April 2015, Mumbai: In yet another attempt to snatch away Adivasi and poor people’s land in the name of SRA inMalad East Kokani Pada, powerful builder lobby is misusing police force and surveys to forcibly evacuate the adivasis who have been staying on the land for generations. If that was not enough, the police is also using brute force and unjust means to openly beat and abuse activists and crush peaceful protests of the people, denying the right to demand land and housing rights.
Maruti Janu Boye owns five acres and 39 guntas at Survey No 280 at Kokani Pada. Builder of Omkar Developers has eyes on this land. Threats and potential use of violence through goons are being used for frighten the adivasis. Despite the threats, a resistance to this exploitation is going on by the Adivasi Punarvasan Andolan. According to Avinash Harishchadra Patil who is leading the movement, police are not taking cognizance of their request to file an FIR under SC /ST atrocities.
On 10th April, with the demand to file criminal complaint against the builder, around 200-250 adivasis sat on a peaceful dharna under the leadership of Bhau Bhuskute at Karur Police Statio. Instead of acting against the corrupt builder, the police manhandled the protesters. Police inspector Anil Pawar and Sanjay Sawant physically abused Bhuskute and Patil. Though people tried saving Bhuskuta, police used force to disperse them and closed the gate, continuing the brutal physical assault of 90 years old activist. Although no fracture was found in Bhau Bhuskute’s body, he was severely injured and said “Police know how to beat and yet no scar will be seen”. Attached is the photo which shows how Bhuskute was abused.
It is tragic, to say the least, that Bhau Bhuskute, an expert on land laws and author of many books on the subject and a guide to many people’s movements was meted out this treatment. His father, late Vinayak Rao Bhuskute was also a well known activist who fought for the Mulshi Dam displaced, even amidst the freedom movement. Bhau Bhuskute who is known for principles and working for the interests of adivasis and the working class has spent his whole life fighting for justice and yet, he faced such gross injustice at the hands of police machinery. What is even more condemnable is that the police officials involved in this heinous act did not care about his old age. We are outraged at this behaviour to beat a senior activist who was demanding justice by peaceful ways. This event is against humanity and also against people’s right to ask questions or dissent.
National Alliance of People’s Movements strongly condemns this event and demands suspension of police officials who abused Bhuskute. There must be a serious and immediate check on growing instances of police impunity and misuse of power by the officials, be it the case of abusing peaceful activists and people or the extreme cases of extra-judicial killings and fake encounters. We express our solidarity with Bhau Bhuskute and with Adivasi Punarvasan Andolan and wholeheartedly support their struggle for land and housing rights. We demand that criminal case against the said builder be immediately filed under the SC/ST atrocities and the constitutional rights of adivasis and poor be ensured.