Home » Release » Govt forces unjust arrest on agitators. Suniti and Prasad on indefinate hunger strike
Govt forces unjust arrest on agitators. Suniti and Prasad on indefinate hunger strike
Pune: In what appears to be a clear case of high handedness of the State, Maharashtra government today forced unjust arrest of over 90 people who had started indefinate sit-in in front of the Divisional Commissioner’s office here demanding resolution of various issues of Wang-Marathwadi, Lavasa and Tata Project Affected Persons. In protest against the unjust arrest, Suniti S. R. and Prasad Bagwe have started indefinate hunger strike in the jail.
The three prominent issues of Lavasa, Wang-Marathwadi and Tata projects have seen contnuous conflict between the state and the PAPs. As part of their efforts to resolve the issues the agitators had demanded a meeting with the Divisional Commissioner on October 29, 2012. It was a notice of a week demanding discussions, failing which the PAPs had warned of an indefinate sit-in in front of his office from today. Since there was no response on the notice, the PAPs on November 3 enquired on it, and were assured that they will get a response on November 4. This came late in afternoon of November 4 that the Divisional Commissioner would be ready for a round of discussions on Tuesday, November 6. However, by that time people from remote areas had already started for Pune. This resulted in a planned sit-in today.
In the morning, the PAPs requested the Divisional Commissioner for talks, and after a couple of hours they decided to meet him directly at his office. After a brief sloganeering, the PAPs reached the office and confronted the officials. A brief exchange of heated arguments later, discussions followed. After this as the PAPs came out of office they were arrested by the police.
Explaining the events, Suniti S. R., leader of the PAPs said that the discussions, though not in an atmosphere expected, were very positive. The Divisional Commissioner agreed to send a report to the state on compensation for the forced submergence of the Wang-Marathwadi PAPs. He assured strict action against the irregularities in Lavasa and steps for restoration of Land, and a similar suit would be followed in terms of Tata. This positive response was what was expected and therefore the PAPs asked if the official wanted to discuss on Tuesday as was scheduled. On this the response was negative, and the Divisional Commissioner made it clear that steps would be taken for speedy resolution.
After this, the police forced the arrest alleging that the PAPs vandalised the office, abused the officials and so on. This never happened. As the arrest was unjust we refused to provide personal bond, and we have been told that the judicial magistrate ordered magisterial custody. Officially we have not been conveyed of any action of such sorts. It has been a forced arrest. During the arrest, a few children of PAPs who had come with parents have gone missing. There is no trace of them till night.
To protest against the unjust arrest Suniti and Prasad, a repsentative of Tata PAPs, have started indefinate hunger strike in jail. On the one hand government conducts positive talks, which could have been helpful in easing the tensions, and on the other it provkes by forcing unjust arrest resulting in continuance of the conflict; and this would be fought out by the PAPs, said Suniti.