In Gujarat No Sadbhavana – Harassment of Rights Activists Continue
NAPM stands in solidarity with Rohit Prajapti and Family
New Delhi, October 12 : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi keeps harping about the development and making of swarnim Gujarat and holds lavish fasts calling them “Sadbhavana” fast, but the impunity with which his government has been acting towards those dissenting is quite appalling and highly condemnable. Even as Sanjeev Bhatt one of the most honest IPS officers remains in custody noted environmental, human rights and trade union activist of Gujarat, Rohit Prajapti faces harassment by Gujarat police and other security agencies.
On Sunday, Oct 9th 2011, at around 12.30 p.m., two policemen in plainclothes (Ajaysinh Gajendrasinh, ASI from LIB branch and Maheshbhai Prajapati, ASI at JP Police Station, Tandalja, Vadodara, Gujarat) visited his house asked for his phone number, name of his organization, and about his present ongoing activities, which was provided promptly to them by Mr. Prajapati. Within 5 minutes of their departure two more policemen in uniform appeared and demanded two passport size photographs. He provided that as well, after they produced a letter from the JP Police Station seeking such information. On earlier occasions too on October 3rdthis year and on April 20th 2010 Intelligence Agencies, Special Task Force, Gujarat Police officials come and searched his house, collected personal information, like his bank passbook, passports etc. However, no reason whatsoever has been given by the Gujarat Police and administration till date. These are nothing but an act of intimidation and harassment by the administration.
Rohit Bhai has been working for nearly three decades now in association with the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jyoti Karmachari Mandal and Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (Environment Protection organisation, a radical environmentalist group operating in Gujarat) in an open, legal and public (and in the public interest) manner. He along with his wife, Trupti Shah and other members of their organisation have worked tirelessly after 2002 riots to bring peace in Gujarat. As a matter of principle, they decided to stay on in Tandalja, resisting the attempt to turn it into a purely Muslim ghetto for restoration of peace.
He has consistently been raising the issue of industrial pollution in Gujarat and exposed the industry-Gujarat Government nexus that touts ‘treatment facilities’ as a solution to the problems of hazardous solid waste, effluent, surface & groundwater contamination. Their position has been founded on the facts & figures obtained under RTI. Gujarat Pollution Control Board officials admitted that a lot still has to be achieved in pollution control.
Most recently, on 17th September 2011, Rohit Bhai filed an RTI application with the Chief Minister’s office, seeking information regarding the ‘Sadbahvna Mission’. The RTI application sought to know how much money was spent on this programme, who were the sponsors, and under which policy or rules this programme was conceived and carried out.
There is sufficient reason to apprehend that individuals and interest groups affected by their efforts have resorted to legal, extra-legal and other means against them. It is nothing but vindictiveness of Gujarat government against rights activists, honest officials and those who criticise Mr. Narendra Modi’s government. Sadbhavana will not come by acts like this. The real Sadbhavana will continue to elude not only Mr. Modi but his government too, unless and until such acts of intimidation, violence, hate and communal propaganda is given up. We don’t have hope from such a regime and we will have to continue to fight these right wing communal and fascist forces. NAPM condemns such tactics of intimidation and harassment of the Gujarat government and stands in solidarity with Rohit Prajapati and his family.
Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Maj Gen (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, Prafulla Samantara, P Chennaiah, Arundhati Dhuru, Sister Celia, Gabriele Dietrich, Rajendra Ravi, Ramakrishna Raju, Mukta Srivastava, Anand Mazgaonkar, Vimal Bhai, Ajit Jha, Madhuresh Kumar.
National Alliance of People’s Movements
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