Skip to main content

Gujarat government cites swine flu, cancels tribal farmers' rally in Vyara

Jayram Gamit (centre),  arrested ahead of AKSM rally in January-end,
released by Gujarat High Court on March 12
By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has cancelled a tribal farmers’ rally, proposed to be led by the Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM) for March 20 at Vyara, district headquarters of Tapi district. Imposing section 144, which disallows gathering of more than four persons in a public place except in exceptional circumstances, the reason cited by the state government for cancelling the rally is: The “danger” of swine flu being spread among the proposed rallyists.
The rally was to be taken out against the Shri Ukai Pradesh Khand Udyog Mandli, the powerful cooperative of sugar mills, which AKSM says is controlled by political interests, and has not paid dues worth Rs 90 crore to the tribal farmers against sugarcane sold to them. AKSM termed the non-payment of the dues as a major instance of misappropriation by siphoning off tribal farmers’ money for amassing huge profits.
This was the second time that the state government has decided to cancel AKSM rally. Earlier, it cancelled a similar rally proposed on February 2 at Chhotaudepur, another tribal town in South Gujarat, citing possible terrorist activities (click HERE to read). It imposed prohibitory orders for about a fortnight in order to stop any protest activities.
Worse, the state government arrested one of the popular tribal leaders, Jayram Gamit, under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA), and kept him under detention in Rajkot for nearly 45 days. The release was allowed a little over a week ago following protests by civil rights leaders and a well-attended rally in Vyara on February 20 protesting the use of PASA to detain Gamit.
Meanwhile, in a statement, AKSM leader Romel Sutariya has said, “Swine flu does not come in the way of the state government organizing different types of fetes for propagating government programmes. How does it come in the way of a rally of tribal farmers, who are protesting against non-payment of their dues?”
The AKSM has written a letter to the district collector, Tapi, for an appointment on March 20, in which it has demanded that the state government should take "complete control" of the sugar cooperative by appointing a liquidator. “We have also demanded that the state government release Rs 200 crore to revive the sugar cooperative and payback the tribal farmers’ dues.
The AKSM has declared that in case the demands are not met, it would “go ahead” with a protest sit-in in front of the district collector’s office in Tapi, courting arrest. “We will be sending a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and begin a fast unto death”, it said.

Comments

TRENDING

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 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.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

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 '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.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.