Skip to main content

Tribal farmers' body in Gujarat put under surveillance, told it can't meet because of swine flu

Cops stop AKSM leader Sutariya to hold rally in Vyara
By Our Representative
Fresh apprehensions of a campdown on South Gujarat's fast-growing tribal farmers' organization, Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM), arose on Tuesday, with the Gujarat government putting on surveillance its leaders, who were in Ahmedabad to represent before Gujarat government officials over refusal to pay dues to tribal farmers by the powerful sugar mill lobby of the region.
The state government sent a police party at a spot off posh CG Road in Ahmedabad, where AKSM leader Romel Sutariya was holding discussions with his colleagues on what to represent before state officials. The cops told him "not to create any trouble" by going en masse to the state capital Gandhinagar.
"Why are you here? You know Section 144 (prohibition orders) in force in Ahmedabad because of the swine flu. You may go back", a police official told Sutariya, adding, "We wish to know if you going to hold a meeting." The cops' said this a week after Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel met large number of children brought to Gujarat Sachivalaya in a big group.
The police party reached up to Sutariya amidst a major relief to the tribal farmers, with the powerful sugar cooperative, Shri Ukai Pradesh Khand Udyog Mandli Ltd, representing 40 mills, admitting that it has failed to make huge payments to the tribal farmers of South Gujarat for sugarcane.
The cooperative's management has handed over a list of 1,300 tribal farmers, with names of those who have not been made the payments to the district collector, Tapi.
Sutariya reached Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning with his colleagues from Vyara, a South Gujarat town, where he was refused permission to hold a rally of on tribal farmers under the pretext of wine flu. "We received information from South Gujarat that there are plans for trouble, hence we decided to keep a watch", a cop told Sutariya who wished to inquire about why this apprehension.
A perusal of the list, in possession of the tribal farmers' body, Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Manch (AKSM), by Counterview suggests that the cooperative has admitted it has not paid Rs 9.77 crore as dues for sugarcane supplied to the mills in 2013-14 alone. It has simultaneously handed over a list of farmers who have not been paid their dues for earlier years, which, taken together, reaches Rs 17 crore.
AKSM leader Romel Sutariya, in Ahmedabad on way to meet Gujarat government officials in Gandhinagar to represent tribal farmers' case, said, "We think this is a gross underestimation. We feel that the amount is much higher, and does not just involve 1,300 farmers. But we are happy that the officialdom has acted and got in its possession the list of 1,300 farmers."
Sutariya told Counterview, the cooperative, which had given in writing to the government officials that it would be paying all the dues by February-end, has not initiated the process. "We think that the cooperative is unable to make the payment. Directly under the ruling BJP politicians, it is under debt to the tune of Rs 80 crore. It has no money. Its premises are closed. Its power has been snapped", he said.
"This is the reason why we have decided to ask the Gujarat government to invest Rs 200 crore to revive the cooperative, so that its debts are cleared, and the farmers are paid their dues. Instead, the Gujarat government is considering to hand over the cooperative to some other organization. We believe that the tribal farmers are its real owners, they alone should decide its fate", Sutariya said.
"We want that the Gujarat government should organize elections to the cooperative, which has in all 24,000 tribal farmer shareholders", Sutariya said, adding, "The elections should have been held last year, but the cooperative leadership has refused to oblige. We want to the government about the need for triggering in the democratic process."

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.