Monday, February 23, 2015

Fifty farmers arrested in Gujarat: Bhavnagar collector refuses to accept memo to PM citing swine flu

Sabar Rabari
By Our Representative
In an unusual development, about 50 Gujarat farmer activists, who had gone to the district collector, Bhavnagar, to lodge their protest against the new Land Acquisition Ordinance, were arrested for seeking to create “trouble.” Belonging to the Gujarat Khedut Samaj (GSM), the activists were led by Virjibhai Jasani, Damuben Modi, and Bharatsinh Vala, the memorandum was not accepted citing the prevalence of swine flu in Gujarat as the reason.
This was part of the state-wide campaign in Gujarat by the GSM, under which farmers from nearly 150 talukas simultaneously submitted memorandums to mamlatdars of the talukas to be sent to the Prime Minister and the Union Minister for Rural Development. As part of the protest, they burnt copies of the Ordinance.
It is not known why the state government decided to act like this in Bhavnagar. In this district, farmers have in the recent past held protests against two major projects -- the Nirma Cement Plant in Mahua, and the proposed nuclear power plant in Midhi Virdi.
Calling it “administrative goof up”, GSM leader Sagar Rabari said, the administration seems to think that people are fools and will accept the logic for not accepting the memorandum in Bhavnagar – prevalence of swine flu. Wondering whether to it is “a death-knell for democracy”, he said, the memorandum, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also part of the national protest, begun in Delhi against the Ordinance.
“In the national capital, various farmer organisations have been meeting. A 5,000-strong contingent of Adivasis is marching from village Palval to Jantar Mantar under the leadership of P V Rajagopal. The farmer organisations of Gujarat are supporting this and if needed will join in the national programmes”, Rabari said.
Rabari further said, “The new government at the Centre has been used to governance through government resolutions (GRs) and has now initiated the era of governance through Ordinances through ordinances on land acquisition laws, environment laws, labour laws.”
“There is a movement afoot at the national level also under the stewardship of Anna Hazera and P V Rajagopal against the ordinance and the various farmer organisations in Gujarat have also been coordinating with them. If and when needed, the farmers of Gujarat will join the national level struggle”, Rabari said.
“If the government goes ahead into enacting the amendments of the ordinance into law, by calling a joint session of parliament, then the farmer organisations along with other social and civil society groups in Gujarat will initiate a strong movement against the government in coordination with other state-level organisations in other states and national level bodies”, he warned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very unfortunate indeed!