Write to Chief Minister Demand Immediate Release and Justice for the Fisherfolk and Original Dwellers of the Land
Mumbai, June 9th 2012: On May 31st, 25 (24 women and one man) residents of Sion Koliwada including activists Jameel Bhai and Madhuri Shivkar of Ghar Bachao and Ghar Banao Andolan were arrested while resisting the illegal demolition of their homes by the BMC in collusion with Builders. As we have reported in past these demolitions are illegal and fraught with fraud in the name of the redevelopment. The arrests and illegality have been reported widely in the mainstream dailies but even then the threat of demolitions continues and the Police has helped proactively and tried to break the morales of the movement. These dwellings are of the original inhabitants of Mumbai, Koliwada – fishing communities living in these houses for nearly seven decades now. See the story in the Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3506205.ece
Yesterday, those in jail were granted bail in the afternoon itself but then a senior advocate on behalf of th Builder in collusion with the police intervened and then demanded extsnion of their police custody. They interevened and delayed the proceeedings. Finally, the activists were granted bail after the dharna by the Basti Residents outside the court. However, by then police officials made sure that it is too late for the bail orders to reach to the jail. It is extremely unfortunate and condemnable. It further exposes and reconfirms the nexus between the BMC, Builder and the police.
It is shocking to note that the police has not yet registered cases filed by the people over the past few days as FIRs, ever since the eviction drive began. Moreover, despite the people pointing out specifically as to how certain police officials / personnel are siding with the builders and have demanded suspension of such officers, no action has been taken in this regard. The only ‘assurance’ that the police has given so far is to protect the municipal officials who may face any ‘harm’, during the demolition process. We express our deep disdain towards this approach of the State and seek to challenge the illegal arrests and detentions being made by the police for questioning the unlawful demolitions.
Please do condemn the atrocities against the original inhabitants of Mumbai.
Do Fax your letters of protest to the Chief Minister and Home Minister, demanding them to:
Immediately release arrested activists unconditionally and stop harassing the residents of the Si Koliwada
Halt demolitions in the basti of Sio Koliwada in the name of slum redevelopment.
Suspend the police officials, especially male police, who have used unjust force against the people and have abused the women and men in the name of ‘protesting the BMC officials’.
Lodge FIRs on the basis of complaints filed at various levels by Medha Patkar and others and initiate action against the erring officials and the builder lobby.
Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister
Shri R.R. Patil, Home Minister
Fax: 91 22 22027174 / 22 22029742
For details and update call: Madhuri Variyath 0982061917 / Madhuresh 9818905316
National Alliance of People’s Movements