Friday, February 20, 2015

Jayram Gamit's arrest under PASA in Gujarat: Several thousand tribals turn up to protest

By Our Representative
Several thousand tribal farmers of South Gujarat's Vyara town on Friday took out a major protest against the arrest of Jayram Gamit, a senior activist in Chhotaudepur and Tapi districts, under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act. Gamit was arrested on January 31 and taken to Rajkot, where he is under police lockup ever since. Taken out under the leadership of Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM), a statement issued by its leader Romel Sutariya ahead of the rally said, “A reign terror
prevails in Chhotaudepur district. The forest department officials have been forcibly occupying land allocated to the tribal farmers.”
In a statement, the AKSM said, among those who made the rally a “grand success” included Bhilistan Vikas Morcha and Bhilistan Tiger Sena. “Our main was to highlight the false charges leveled againt Gamit under PASA. Our demand was to suspend the district collector, Chhotaudepur, who issued the order to arrest Gamit under PASA”, it added.
The statement said, the rally was also against the effort to crush the democracy by terming tribal movements as Naxalite. The slogans raised included “Stop attacks on tribal movements in Gujarat”, “Stop murder of democracy” and “Forest department leave tribal areas”, it pointed out, demanding a special investigation team (SIT) to go into “false charges” against him.
“It is our democratic right to raise issues of tribals' sovereign rights over land, forests and land on which they live”, the statement said, adding, “We also demanded from the government that instead of seeking to crush the tribals' demands, it would be better to provide basic facilities in the tribal areas such as health, education and other basic requirements.”
The statement said, Gamit was arrested despite the fact that the local court had “absolved him” of all the charges, and the first information report (FIR) dated January 1, 2015, which was the basis of his arrest under PASA, did not name him. “Despite this, the district collector arrested Gamit ahead of a protest sit-in we were planning on February 2”, it added.
“The whole effort is to accuse the tribal movement of running a parallel government”, the statement said, adding, “This is nothing but an effort to crush the tribal movement, which is pitted against sand mining mafia in South Gujarat. Seen against this backdrop, Gamit's arrest is nothing but an act of act of frustration on the part of the state government.”

1 comment:

Sailesh Gamit said...

salute to jayram bhai gamit as he is one of the Tiger of Aadivasi samaj. we all wish U & we R with U.