Skip to main content

Farmer leaders detained in "combing operation" ahead of Maruti-Suzuki stone laying ceremony in Gujarat

By Our Representative
Ahead of Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel’s stone-laying ceremony of the Maruti-Suzuki plant at Hansalpur in North Gujarat on Wednesday, the state police swooped on a dozen-odd farmer leaders apprehending that they would stage a protest. While one of them, Laljibhai Desai, was put under house arrest, others were detained. According to sources of the Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG), which a year ago spearheaded an agitation against land acquisition at Hansalpur (click HERE to read), the police told farmer activists that the arrests were “precautionary.”
JAAG sources said, cops approached Desai on Tuesday night at his farmhouse, situated about three kilometers from Hansalpur, telling him that he would have to be detained. “However, when Desai protested and sought reason, the cops became apprehensive, felt it might become a politically sensitive issue. When Desai gave in writing that there was no farmers’ protest, the cops left, only to return early on Wednesday, telling him that he was under house arrest”, said the sources.
“When Desai again protested and said he would go out to attend besna (condolence meeting) of a relative”, the sources said, “The police accompanied him for the time he went out, and returned with him. As for others, they were kept in detention for virtually the whole day, without providing any reason. One of them was picked up from his house, situated about 20 kilometers from Hansalpur, the spot where the car plant has been proposed.”
Previously in JAAG, ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Desai joined the Congress, but even today he is known more as a farmer activist. When contacted, a farmers’ leader, Sagar Rabari of the Gujarat Khedut Samaj leader, who is close to Desai, told Counterview, “This is not for the first time that the cops swooped on suspicion of protest, without citing any reason. There appears to be a clear sense unease in the establishment.”
Giving one example after another, Rabari said, “Every time the chief minister goes to the Narmada dam or the nearly areas, Lakhan Musafir is detained without citing a reason. Musafir is one of the farmer leaders who had led protests against the Gujarat government’s move to construct a weir across the river Narmada and the proposed Statue of Liberty, tallest in the world, in the memory of Sardar Patel, on the ground that farmers’ consent had not been obtained.”
Lalji Desai
In another instance, Rabari said, he was detained on January 8 apprehending a farmers’ protest rally against the Vibrant Gujarat summit. “As many as five police vans, with four senior cops, had come to catch me early in the morning, and without citing a reason I was taken away, though we had planned our protest on January 11 morning, and not on January 8, against the Vibrant Gujarat summit”, he added.
Then, Rabari pointed out, there was the infamous incident in which Indukumar Jani, a veteran Gandhian, was detained along with two other veterans – economist Prof Rohit Shukla and People’s Union for Civil Liberties general secretary Gautam Thaker, on January 11 morning, when they were driving on their way to the proposed farmers’ agitation at Adalaj, about six kilometers from the Vibrant Gujarat summit venue. They were going there as mere observers (click HERE to read).
According to Rabari, “It has become a norm over the last several months not to give any permission to protests in Gujarat under one pretext or the other. If Vibrant Gujarat was the reason why permission was not granted recently, earlier, construction workers were not allowed to protest against the Adani township saying the state assembly session was on, hence there wasn’t enough police force to control the protesters.”
“Even on apprehensions of protests, activists are treated as criminals, picked up without citing reason”, said Rabari, adding, “In fact, one is reminded of the way in which, ahead of religious processions like Rath Yatra, anti-social elements are picked up in combing operations to ensure that there is no disturbance. All this suggests the type of model that Gujarat is seeking to project itself before the country.”

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.