Asian Tribune (Thailand/ Sri Lanka), 1 October 2007
View Point: HC reprimands State Govt
27 September 2007
The Jabalpur High Court reprimanded the Madhya Pradesh State Government on 25 September 2007, for illegally arresting and detaining 91 people in jail, who were peacefully demonstrating for their land rights at Taloon on 25 July 2007.
The court orders the State Government to pay Rs 10,000 to each of the above 91 people as compensation for violating their fundamental rights on the basis of Article 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. A total of Rs 9,10,000 should be paid to the anti-dam agitators.
The 25 page above order of the court states that the State government may recover the total compensation from officials found responsible, after conducting a special enquiry, or pay the amount directly. The bench consisted of Chief Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Ajit Singh.
Earlier on the evening of 25 July 2007, a huge police force came down on the adivasis, fishworkers and farmers who were peacefully agitating as part of the "Zameen Hak Satyagraha", demanding land-for-land rehabilitation instead of cash compensation. "Today's verdict is yet another victory for the Narmada Bachao Andolan and people's movements at large. The verdict affirms the rights of the affected people to agitate peacefully and assert their right to land and livelihood. The peaceful and legitimate agitation by the Sardar Sarovar Dam affected people of the Narmada valley, for right to life and livelihood, continues irrespective of efforts by the authorities to sabotage and suppress the movement of the people" said frontline leader of NBA Medha Patkar.
"The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, The Supreme Court orders, Constitutional rights of citizens, all stand violated as submergence without rehabilitation continue to happen in the valley, year after year. 22 years of persistent struggle by NBA has achieved much in terms of rehabilitation and without struggle, the remaining populations will not get their due, especially in MP" stressed Arundhati Dhuru, another senior NBA activist.
MP Government had stated earlier that not enough appropriate land is available for land-to-land rehabilitation of every eligible displaced person. Therefore the movement continues to gain ground with water level rising in the valley.
COKE siphons groundwater while GoI may declare drought
The Government of Uttar Pradesh has been considering declaring drought in some parts of Varanasi. As a safeguard to protect declining groundwater levels, the government might even ask farmers to stop pumping water from their wells. Yet the Coca Cola bottling plant in Raja Talab, Mehndiganj village of Varanasi, has not been restricted from drawing lakhs of litres of water every day!
“Water levels in 9 out of 13 stations in Varanasi district have fallen below drought conditions” said a report from the Hydrology department of Government of India, released on 15 September 2007, in response to an application filed under the Right to Information Act by Nandlal Master, the leader of the Lok Samiti in Mehndiganj.
The Statesman (India), 21 September 2007
DAY V: Anti-AFSPA Solidarity fast ends on a positive note in Manipur
The five day fast in Keishampat, Imphal in support of Irom Sharmila Chanu, who has been on fast for 7 years deamanding repeal of AFSPA, ended on 17th September, 2007 on a positive note. Members of Manipur Forward Youth Front, which played a crucial role in organizing this fast and senior ladies of All Manipur Tammi Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup, who were even spending the nights at the fast site along with people fasting were present during the conclusion.
The women of AMTCANL blessed all the fasters after offering them juices to break their fast. Wangkhemcha Chingtamlen, a writer from Manipur, presented copies of his books ‘A short history of Kangleipak (Manipur)’ to all the fasters.
Faisal Khan is taking a letter from Irom Sharmila, who handed this letter to the visitors when they visited her on 16th September, 2007 in hospital, for Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of UPA.
The fasters when visiting the massacre sites on the evening of Sptember 16th, 2007 were disturbed to see that the monument built by people in Heirangoithong, in the memory of 14 people who were killed on 14th March, 1984 by CRPF, was destroyed by the Army last year.
Faisal Khan speaking at the conclusion offered to raise Rs. 25,000 on behalf of Asha Parivar to rebuild this monument.
On the second day of the fast in support of Irom Sharmila in Keishampat, Imphal representatives of NIPCO (National Identity Protection Committee), AMSU (All Manipur Student Union), HERICOUN, Thangmeiband Khunthokhambi Meira Paibi lup (TKMPL), AIHRA (All India Human Right Association), All Manipur Social reformation and Development Samaj, All Manipur Tammi Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup and AMKIL (All Manipur Kanba Ima Lup) came to extend support to the demand to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
Even on the second day hundreds of school students belonging to DAV Public School and North Point Higher Secondary School joined the dharna for the entire day. Former MLA, L. Ibomcha Singh came to the fast site and presented copies of his book ‘Manipur under AFSPA – A Bizzare Experience’ to the people fasting as well as those who had come in support. People who were on fast on the second day included Rakesh Naorem, Biju Birbaruah, Faisal Khan, Sandeep Pandey, Rajeshwar Ojha, Mahesh Pandey, Manish Kumar, Prem Kumar, Dr. G Satyabhama, NG. Tondon, N. Bimola, H. Sobita and S. Ibeton.
The fast in Imphal is also making a demand to ‘Free Burma’ and ‘Free Aung San Suu Kyi’ through speeches and posters.
Sapamacha Kangleipal (+91-9862096539)
Irom Singhjit Singh (+91-9863151540)
G. Radha Pyari Devi (+91-9856164548)
Biju Borbaruah (+91-9435198562)