Lalit Mehta Shahadat Divas

Lalit Mehta Shahadat Divas

A day of solidarity with NREGA activists and protest against state repression

On 14 May 2008, Lalit Mehta was brutally murdered in Palamau District (read CNS news of May 2008 here), just as a social audit of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was about to begin in the area.

One year later, on 14 May 2009, a public meeting (“aam sabha”) will be taking place in Daltonganj to remember Lalit and also to protest against state repression of NREGA activists in Jharkhand and elsewhere.

Ever since the Act came into force three years ago, NREGA activists have been a prime target of state repression. In Jharkhand, Lalit Mehta’s tragic death was quickly followed by the murder of Kameshwar Yadav, the suicide of Tapas Soren, and a spate of other NREGA-related deaths. Similar incidents have occurred in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and elsewhere. Hundreds of NREGA activists have also been jailed under false charges or beaten up. The time has come to raise our voice, together, against these human rights violations.

As it happens, 14 May 2009 will also be the second anniversary of Binayak Sen’s arrest in Raipur. This abuse of power, too, needs to be opposed.

You are invited to join this solidarity day. The programme will start around 9.30 am and conclude in the evening with candlelight procession and cultural programme. Please stay for the full duration is possible (simple accommodation will be available in Daltonganj on 14th). Daltonganj can be reached by bus or train from Ranchi, Patna, Varanasi and Allahabad.

This event is an initiative of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Jharkhand. For further information please contact Vikas Sahyog Kendra (06566-285 483), James Herenj (09470396732), Jawahar (09430126909), Gurjeet (09431120534) or Mithilesh (09431193202).

Ayojan Samiti
Lalit Mehta Sahadat Divas
(Ajit, Birender, Gurjeet, James, Jawahar, Sunita)