Thursday, January 15, 2015

Three dead in attack reported on Muslim-dominated South Gujarat village, likely to witness major industrial activity

By Our Representative
Reports from Bharach district of South Gujarat say, three persons were killed and a a dozen others others injured following clashes between two communities in and around Hansot village. While the police claimed the "the situation is now under control" with extra force having  been summoned, the clashes took place because of a scuffle between two groups over catching the kites in nearby Ambeta village during Makarsankranti celebrations on January 14.
Meanwhile, in a “media alert”, well-known human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi has made public three photographs of Hansot village of Bharuch district in Gujarat, where houses, shops and farms were burnt. In a social media post, Hashmi has forwarded a mail from one of the residents of Hansot, which says that Hansot, with a population is around 5000, out of this 3,000 are Muslims and is surround by 52 other villages which are dominated by the majority community, a rein of fear and tension prevails.
“A small issue led to people from neighbouring villages attacking the Muslims of Hansot”, the post written by an individual from the village, said, adding, “The police was present but they did not take any action. Even the ambulance, which carried injured, were attacked. Farms too were not spared. They were set on fine.” It added, “Hindu fundamentalists are providing full support in terms of police and administration.”
Commenting on the incident, Hashmi, who has been active in all anti-Modi campaigns across the country, including Gujarat, said, this again shows that, despite claims to the contrary, “Gujarat continues to burn”, adding, "Boys from the minority community community are being picked up." Commented another activist in a Facebook post, this suggests "even kites bring communal disharmony in Gujarat".
Sleepy Hansot shot into prominence two years ago following the decision of the Gujarat government to have a barrage on the mouth of the Narmada river to divert river waters through the canal to the proposed Kalpasar project, proposed as a huge sweet water lake in the Gulf of Khambhat. To be built between Dahej and Hansot, a six-lane road has been envisaged on top of the barrage for free flow of industrial traffic between Dahej and Hazira, two most important industrial townships of Gujarat.
The barrage would reduce the traffic distance between the two industrial area, which have ports attached to them, by nerly 24 km, apart from the hassle of the huge traffic flow on the highway towards Surat and further on to Mumbai.
While the economic significance, including real estate activity, of the whole area, including Hansot, is all set to go up manifold because of the project, a state-sponsored report, “Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment for the Proposed Barrage across River Narmada near Bhadbhut, Dist. Bharuch”, by Government of India consultants National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), talked of possibilities of silting in the immediate upstream of the barrage, leading to “undue sedimentation” gathering in area.
The barrage has received environmental clearance from the Government of India, and already international interest is being shown for its development. Ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat business meet, which took place on January 11-12 in Gandhinagar, a major Chinese engineering company offered to implement in public-private partnership.
Media reports quoting highly placed sources said the state government has decided to take up work on the project soon, as apart from environmental clearance, has received coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance, too. As a result, they add, the China Harbor Engineering Company, has “shown interest in the project”. The barrage and the road is proposed to cost Rs 3,500 crore.

1 comment:

Dilip Banerjee said...

"......the economic significance, including real estate activity, of the whole area, including Hansot, is all set to go up manifold because of the project," appears to be the bane of contention