State Repression at the proposed site of Kakinada SEZ

State Repression at the proposed site of Kakinada SEZ

Last three days have been witness to State terror in U Kothapalli and Thongdangi Mandals of East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh where the government proposes to set up a Special Economic Zone. Revenue authorities, police and goons of broker, who has been buying land from the people on behalf of the proposed SEZ authorities, have been trying to set up a fence. The authorities have been threatening, forcing and spreading misinformation among people to compel them to sell their lands.

Farmers have been opposing any attempt to take over their land and have earlier foiled one such bid in September 2007. They have got an order in their favour from the State Human Rights Commission that the government should not use coercive methods to acquire land. 110 farmers had filed affidavits in the SHRC. Next date for hearing was fixed as 7th February, 2008. The stones and pillars, that the authorities had put up to fence the area which they claim has been sold for the SEZ, were removed by the people, who have been strongly protesting the idea of SEZ since it was floated in 2005.

Various newspapers, which seem to have been influenced by the authorities, carry news items about how people damaged property worth several lakhs of rupees. Cases have been filed against farmer leaders Surya Narayana Murthi, Narayana Swami and Ganga Dhar under sections 147, 148, 447, 427, 506, 149 of IPC. Police went to their homes at 4 am in the morning and arrested them. Rajendra, who has organized protest meetings earlier against the SEZ was also arrested at 4 pm and has been sent to judicial remand till 31st January. Close to 150 farmers are reported to have been arrested.

Section 144 has been imposed in both Mandals of the E. Godavari district. Police is seen everywhere creating an atmosphere of terror. Fencing work is proceeding and no automobiles are being allowed from outside the area. The District Collector says that the SHRC has not said that the government should not go ahead with the proposed work on setting up the SEZ. He says when he is peacefully carrying out his work of setting up the fence, the people are resorting to violence!

This act of deceit and cowardice by the district administration and government of Andhra Pradesh deserves strongest condemnation.

Send your protests to:

State Human Rights Commission
Fax No.: 040 24601573 (Chairperson Retd. Justice Subhashan Reddy)

Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh
Fax: 040 23453700

Chief Minister, Rajashekhar Reddy
Fax: 040 23452498, 23410555

Governor, A.P., Fax: 040 23312650

District Collector, East Godavari, Fax: 0844 2353480, e-mail:

National Alliance of People’s Movements
Contact: Ram Krishna Raju, 09866887299, Pawan, 09490430944, 040 27228316