Skip to main content

Around 90 activists arrested ahead of Modi's Statue of Unity inauguration

Some of the prominent activists who have been detained
In a swoop ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating the Statue of Unity to the nation, more than 90 activists from around Gujarat have been detained by the Narmada district police in Rajpipla and other places. The move comes amidst a civil society declaration that, as a mark of protest, people of 72 Narmada-dam affected villages have decided not to cook food on October 31.
Among those who who are reported to have been detained include Gandhian activist Nita Mahadev, social activist Mudita Vidrohi, top environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, anti-Narmada dam campaigner in Narmada Valley Lakhan Musafir, apart from several tribal activists such as Amarsinh Chaudhary, Bhupendra Chaudhary and Virji Varadia. Narmada is a predominantly tribal district. No reason for detention has been given.
According to reports from local sources, a whole government -- the executive, administration, regular police, Reserve Police Force, Home Guards-- from across the state has descended on Kevadia for Modi's celebration of the Iron Man's statue.
In a statement protesting against the government move, several activists have said, "Sardar Patel, who fought for the farmers, the poor, and the nation as a whole, would have been deeply pained at the kind of wanton destruction of natural, human and financial resources seen there. Tens of thousands of trees have been chopped off for road widening, houses pulled down, people summarily thrown out."
The statement recalls, those are angry with the way Statue of Unity area is being turned into a tourism spot include the residents of first six villages, whose land was acquired for colony of the staff needed to build the Sardar Sarovar dam. These villages were never recognized as project-affected. "They are fighting back", it adds.
Then, it underlines, there are 19 villages, who have been recognized as project-affected, but are fighting because promises made to them again and again were not kept.Also fighting back are seven villages "that would be affected by the Garudeshwar weir" being built in the downstream.
The statement, signed by Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Michael, Ghanshyam Patel, Shaukat Indori, Deepali Ghelani, Kamal Thakar, Daniel M, all senior activists from Gujarat, says, if one further looks into growing disenchantment in the area, there are "28 villages on the right bank of Main Canal, under whose noses the water flows, are not allowed a drop of water for their parched farms."

Comments

TRENDING

India's top fact-checking site altnews.in non-partisan: IFCN sets aside complaint

In a major victory for India’s top fact-checking website, altnews.in, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) – a unit of the Florida-based Poynter Institute “dedicated” to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide to “support a booming crop of fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field” – has set aside a complaint that it is violating IFCN’s nonpartisanship policy. The site altnews.in is a certified member of IFCN.

Based on NGT's Vapi order, polluting units across India told to compensate for eco-loss

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Government of India’s anti-pollution watchdog, to coordinate with State PCBs to make an assessment of compensation to be recovered from polluting units for the period of last five years, taking into account the cost of restoration and cost of damage to the public health and environment and the deterrence element.
The NGT said in an order that the scale of deterrence “may be related to the period and the frequency of defaults”, insisting, “No further industrial activities or expansion be allowed with regard to ‘red’ and ‘orange’ category units till the said areas are brought within the prescribed parameters or till carrying capacity of area is assessed and new units or expansion is found viable having regard to the carrying capacity of the area and environmental norms.”
The NGT order follows the CPCB coming up with a new Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) for 100 top polluting…

Nationalised banks should serve the poor and the vulnerable: FAN

The civil rights group, Financial Accountability Network (FAN), in a statement on the golden jubilee year of the nationalisation of banks, has demanded that the Government of India should bring back principles of mass banking, adding, "Strong measures should be taken to recover the non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporates", and willful defaulters should be "declared criminal offenders."
Also wanting bank charges to be withdrawn, the statement regrets, the nationalised banks, which contributed hugely to the economy over the last five decades, "are under attack for the past 25 years under the neo-liberal rule", and multiple efforts are on "to privatise banking sector under the dictates of the global capital."
According to FAN, this has happening even though public sector banks still enjoy the trust of the public at a time when they are facing one of the most severe crises, and the principle of mass banking and catering to the poor and the vuln…

115 Lok Sabha candidates won against runners up with clean background: ADR

Suggesting that criminal -- politicians are being accepted in the Indian polity, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW), in a fresh analysis of Lok Sabha elections, have said that a whopping 132 (57%) out of 233 winners analysed with declared criminal cases won the polls with a vote share of 50% and above.
Equally significant, says a report prepared by them, is that 115 out of 233 winners with declared criminal cases "won against a runner up with a clean background."  One of them, CR Patil (BJP) from Navsari constituency in Gujarat, won with 52.7 % margin of victory. At the same time, the report says that there are 115 winners with a clean background who won against a runner up with declared criminal cases. Further, the report says, 54 out of 475 crorepati winners won against a non-crorepati runners up. At the same time, there are 48 non-crorepati winners who have won against crorepati runners up. As many as 21 of them have won wi…

Demand for separate anti-atrocities law for minorities in Gujarat

A Gujarat-based civil rights organization has demanded that the state assembly, currently in session in Gandhinagar, should come up with Minorities (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, on line with the anti-atrocities laws for scheduled castes and tribes. The decision was taken at a well-attended meeting of the Minority Coordination Committee (MCC) in the state capital.

Ahmedabad civil rights organization to launch 'Improve roads, Save lives' campaign

Ahmedabad's civil rights organization, Nagrik Sashaktikaran Manch (NSM), has decided to launch 'Improve roads, Save lives' campaign on Sundays starting July 21 across different parts of the city for the next two months, reminding city authorities that the recent Kankaria incident, in which two persons died and 29 injured when the ride collapsed, was only a grim reminder to "the cost of negligence" on the part of those who had assigned business to the firm which operated it.
Jatin Seth, convener, NSM, in a letter to the Ahmedabad municipal commissioner and mayor, said, such innocents may again be lost if cave-ins, pot/pit holes on roads are not taken seriously. "This will happen if the Ahmedabad Municipal Commission (AMC) keeps on ignoring all warnings issued by news media and citizens when there will be heavy rainfall during the current monsoon season", he added.
The campaign, which will cover Sarangpur, Odhav, Rakhial, Sukhramnagar, Maninagar, Da…

All-India protest action on July 22 against forest dwellers' possible eviction

The Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA), a network of land rights movements across India, will be holding protests all over India against the eviction of forest dwellers on July 22, 2019, ahead of a crucial Supreme Court hearing two days later. The call for action is against the Supreme Court ruling of February 13, 2019 on eviction of millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest-dwelling communities, which was stayed for four months.

Civil society, political parties to hold EVM Hatao protest rallies on Quit India day

Representatives of social movements from 16 states have decided at a national consultation to hold massive long marches and nationwide protests on August 9, the anniversary of Quit India movement, against electronic voting machines being used during the polls. To be bannered “EVMs Quit India! EVM Hatao – Desh Bachao – Ballot Paper Lao!”

Top British weekly blames Amit Shah over 'destabilization' in Assam over citizenship

In a sharply-worded attack on Union home minister Amit Shah, who is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most trusted Man Friday in the ruling establishment, top British weekly “The Economist” has said that the recent “rant” of the top politician calling immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam “termites” and “infiltrators” is not just “a standard bluster from a nativist politician railing against illegal immigration.”

Sixty citizenship-related deaths in Assam, 28 Hindus, 27 Muslims: CJP

The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), a Mumbai-based human rights organization currently taking up the cause of those who are being "wrongfully" declared foreigners in Assam, has said that "nearly 60 people have lost their lives and their deaths are connected to citizenship related issues" in the state.