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Govt announcement to "withdraw" 36 villages from Mandal-Bhechraji SIR is a "limited victory" for farmers: JAAG

Remove Maruti-Suzuki, demands JAAG
By Our Representative
Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari of the Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG) have in a statement said that Gujarat government announcement of removal of 36 villages from the Mandal-Bhechraji special investment region (SIR) is an "incomplete victory" for the farmers agitating against the SIR for the last four months. In a press conference, state finance minister Nitin Patel declared that the state government had decided to remove 36 villages from the SIR, but would retain eight villages.
"The leaders of the agitation or the community based organisations (CBOs) have received no official communication in this matter", the JAAG statement said, adding, "This is an incomplete victory since the demands of the agitation viz. withdrawal of the SIR notification, removal of the Maruti Suzuki Company and reversing the process of de-commanding of the Narmada command area are yet pending". At the same time JAAG said, "It is nonetheless welcome since this is the first time in the last 12 years that the state government had to give in to the demands of the people owing to massive show of strength and their unprecedented solidarity in the face of machinations."
The statement declared, "The decision on further programmes will be taken jointly in consultation with the people of the area. There are two lessons that come out very glaringly: (a) farmers have seen through the ‘development’ gimmick of the government and are not going to fall prey to those platitudes, falsehoods and hype, and (b) industry and corporate leaders need to understand the local mood and anger before inking the MOUs and not be misled by the government’s false assurances."

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