Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seven Adivasis, including three women, brutally attacked in South Gujarat: Protests planned on Foundation Day, May 1

Vanmali Rathod in ICU in Bardoli hospital following the attack
By Our Representative
In a gruesome incident, seven Adivasis, including three women, of Manekpur village of Bardoli taluka of South Gujarat were brutally attacked on Tuesday. All of them are members of the Adavasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM), which has been fast expanding its wings among the Adivasis of South Gujarat districts. 
The attack, says AKSM, is part of the ruling BJP's effort to cow down the Adivasis of the area, as they have decided to hold parallel protests against Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. Patel will  to bein the Adivasi town of Vyara for Gujarat foundation day function on May 1. An FIR has been filed against the alleged culprits, most of whom are allegedly BJP supporters.
Claiming that Bardoli BJP MLA Jitu Vasia is the "mastermind" of the attack on the AKSM workers, the organization's leader Romel Sutariya said, the attack took place late on Monday night after the supporters of the MLA broke into Adivasi houses and attacked seven of them -- Vanmalibhai Rathod, Rameshbhai Rathod, Natubhai Rathod, Keralbhai Rathod, Ushaben Rathod, Bhanuben Rathod, and Sumitraben Rathod.
"On learning that they have been attacked, AKSM workers immediately rushed to the spot and shifted them to Bardoli Sardar Smarak Hospital", Sutariya said, adding, "While all of them have been admitted in the hospital, Vanmalibhai Rathod is in the intensive care unit. I have personally talked with the district superintendent of police (SP) to take immediate action. I have been assured that the culprits will not be set free."
The poster which attacked police action against Sutariya, others
Earlier last week, several of AKSM's workers, including Sutariya, were were detained in Ahmedabad for a day after they tried to protest against the Gujarat government for failing to pay Rs 17 crore dues to Adivasi farmers who had sold their sugarcane to the sugar mills in South Gujarat. The police said, the AKSM protest took place the fact that the organization was "refused" permission to protest.
The arrests also happened as the AKSM put up posters in Ahmedabad which said the Gujarat chief minister was "missing", even as alleging failure of the state government to act to up sugarcane dues. Sutariya in a statement later described the day-long detention as "violation of the democratic rights, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution." The "missing" posters were also put up in Vyara, where May 1 functions have been proposed.
In his statement, Sutariya has denied the allegation that the AKSM is wedded to the Maoist ideology, saying, "I have been frequently asked by the police why did I visit Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. This is a strange question. I will go to every place where the oppressed are struggling for their rights."
He clarified, "However, we wish to clarify, we are wedded to continue our struggle through non-violent means, and there no question of adopting extra-constitutional method. We are proud that the Gujarat Foundation day ceremoney is taking place on May 1 in South Gujarat, but we have a democratic right to protest as well. We have decided to launch door-to-door campaign to protest against state government failures."

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