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Senior Gandhian, two others detained in Gujarat as Modi began summit with tycoons at Mahatma Mandir

Indukumar Jani
By Our Representative
In shocking incident, three veteran civil rights activists – Gandhian and editor of the periodical “Naya Marg" Indukumar Jani, senior economist Rohit Shukla, and Gautam Thakar, general secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) -- were detained for the whole day on January 11, when the high profile Vibrant Gujarat Investors' summit took off in Gujarat capital, Gandhinagar. The trio were mysteriously picked up from near the Passport Office, around the time when they had just begun to drive to Adalaj circle, on way to Gandhinagar, about 25 kilometres away.
“We were on our way to the farmers' protest meet, which was to take place at Adalaj circle”, Thaker told Counterview, adding, “Indukumar Jani was driving the car. He was pushed out, and was asked to sit in the back. The police took control of the car, and drove us to the Gaekwad Haveli, the police crime branch office, as if we were criminals. No formal reason was given, though informally the cops told us that we were the brains behind the protest, lest farmers – whose brains equaled that of buffaloes – wouldn't even think of protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Picked up at around 9.00 am, and “let off” at 6.00 pm, interestingly, the three are known even among NGO circles as “most harmless individuals”. A statement by prominent citizens, informing media about the detention, said, their mobiles were confiscated, adding, the illegal detention without specifying any rhyme or reason was a clear indication of the type of authoritarian rule India will soon be witnessing. “They were detained despite the fact that we had no direct relation with the farmers' movement. We were proceeding to the spot only give moral support to the protest”, the statement said.
Among those who have signed the statement include former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta, well-known human rights lawyer Girish Patel, senior critic and litterateur Prakash N Shah, human rights activist Rajni Dave, environmental expert Mahesh Pandya, Jesuit human rights activist Father Cedric Prakash, Dwarkanath Rath of Lok Andolan Gujarat, Jimmy Dabhi of Human Development and Research Centre, and Ahmedabad Women's Action Group's Sara Baldiwala.
Ex-Congress veteran and Gujarat Khedut Samaj leader Sanat Mehta taking
nap on lawn on being detained at Sector 27 dy SP's office in Gandhinagar
In a separate statement, farmers' leader Sagar Rabari of Gujarat Khedut Samaj, one of the three organisations which were behind the farmers' protest, said, “Iron-curtain of police presence all over Gujarat was an instance of a hell-shocked and petrified government.” He added, “During campaigning for the 2014 elections, those who shouted slogans like 'Subsidy in Mutton, why not for Cotton?', are today clamping down on the reasonable demands of the farmers.”
The statement said, “Preventive detention of the leaders of the Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti (joint action committee of farmers) began yesterday and continued till 2 pm. Late night detentions and a literal cordon at all entry points in the city reveals a government that is terrified and scared. There is no doubt that the government has revealed its fascist tendencies in this undemocratic act of repressing the voice of farmers.”
It added, “While world leaders, corporate and MNC heads and industrialists were being entertained at taxpayers' money, the farmers who were going to come to Mahatma Mandir were detained in the early hours of the morning (2 am and 4 am) in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Amreli, Sabarkantha, Arvalli, Bharuch, Narmada, andSurat districts. The police cordon was as if they were out to nab terrorists.”
The statement further said, “The police presence at Adalaj crossroads would make one think that Gandhinagar was attacked by foreign forces. On the one hand the government was spreading out a feast for its foreign guests, the toiling cotton and groundnut farmers’ demands for fair prices did not find one sympathetic ear in the government – state or central.”
“Government apathy and thick-skinned disregard of the toiling masses’ demand for remunerative and fair prices is an example of the government’s sell-out to international and national corporate houses. The well-worn ploy of pitching the police against the people has been understood by the people and when the time comes the government will be brought to account. As long as the demands are not addressed, the agitation will continue. The forthcoming programmes will be decided after a meeting and we will see to it that our demands are met", the statement concluded.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Undemocratic attitude by the police forces in Gujarat State heading to 1975-77 INTERNAL EMERGENCY?

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