Medha Patkar Continues Indefinite fast against brutal dispossession of life and livelihoods of Golibar residents
Slum dwellers join the Satyagraha from across Mumbai with relay fast
May 21, Mumbai : Protesting against the Brazen and brutal lathi charge by the police, demolition of houses and dispossession of land and livelihood rights of the Golibar residents who have been living here for more than 80 years, Medha Patakar continues her indefinite hunger strike for second day today at Golibar, Mumbai. Slum dwellers join the Satyagraha from across Mumbai with relay fast including Devan Nair & Bharti Mishara from Golibar, Norjahan from Malwani, Lala Jaklu Kale from Ambhujwadi, and Guruprit Singh from Guru Nanak Nagar in Golibar Basti.
It is a matter of shame that to support the real-estate agents, the Maharashtra Government has used police force in which 12 peaceful protesters have been arrested, and several injured due to Lathi charge on May 19th, 2011. Ms. Sunita Gurav braved a grievous head injury in a lathi-charge. Another woman named Sharadabai Vasta of 80years old; who is mentally ill was ruthlessly dragged out from her house.
The real face of corruption has been seen at the ground level in Golibar where the lawful residence has been robed off their land, their property, their life and their livelihood only to make corrupt real estate builders like Shivalik rich.
This demolition was illegal precisely because the Supreme Court order used to justify this demolition has already become redundant because it has already surpassed 90 days. Ironically the government and the Police had blatantly ignored the fact that the High Court has ruled in favor of Golibar residence in a (criminal) case of fraud and forgery against Shivalik builders. We have seen these games played before. We have seen repeatedly that the law is lawless in our crumbling corridors.
With lot of zeal and enthusiasm our satyagrah is being joined and supported by slum dwellers from across the Mumbai who have been also fighting the similar battle in their area. One such gesture is the generous solidarity shown by Guru Nanak Rahivasi Sangh from Gurunanak Nagar Ghatkopar joined our battle with their massive presence at Satyagraha site but also provided us with food grain, oil etc.
Meanwhile, we wonder that why these hurried steps for demolition when an inquiry in the dealings of the Shivalik Ventures is already going. It is also an established fact that the builder has changed their name many times and so was the enterprise (SVI Realties, Shivalik Ventures, Shi. Ventures Private Ltd., Lifestyle Realty) has committed serious criminal offences in the process of seeking approval. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority that way seems to be favouring the builder too.
Its also seen and exposed from the letter of the Directorate of Income Tax that UNITECH has made 50% of the investment, that too by collecting advances through Neera Radia! It thus can be covered in the enquiry on the 2 G spectrum scam. As you very well know that the director of Unitech is in judicial custody as of now.
In this context, while the Project deserves cancellation and legal action, its shocking that the your government is demolishing homes since yesterday and also beating people who are opposing this. These colonies of families settled 70-100 years ago, are not “encroacher’s slums”, but pucca houses erected out of sweat and blood of toiling people.
We strongly condemn the actions of Maharasthta government, this must be stopped and investigations started in the dubious role of the Shivalik Ventures and relief given to those whose houses have been demolished.
On 5th April 2011 more than 10,000 slum dwellers had taken out a rally in Mumbai and a delegation under the leadership of Medha Patkar had met Shree Prithviraj Chavan, CM Maharashtra and had raised the following demands. We reiterate our demand and struggle will continue till the following demands are met.
Rajiv Awas yojana should be implemented in the slums of Mumbai, particularly those where slums dwellers are coming forward and demanding the implementation of the same.
3K clause of Maharashtra slum Area Act should be scraped. Exercising3K clause government has gifted more than 500 acre of slum land to 6 Developers in last 2 years. Slum dwellers of Golibar have exposed the scam of 3K but are but are facing eviction drives that should be halted name directly.
Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, which has resulted in land grab by builders and dis-housing of slum dwellers should be revised and instead pro-people self development schemes be supported and facilitated by state.
The PDS system should be universalized and there should be stringent provision to stop malpractices in the PDS system.
Basic services like water and sanitation should be provided to all slum dweller without any cut-off date
Mukta Srivastav, Varsha Parchure, Prerana Gaikwad, Simpreet Singh.