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Repromulgated land acquisition ordinance: Protests break out across India, copies burnt in villages, states, Delhi

By Our Representative
Reports are coming in from across India of protests breaking out against the repromulgated Land Acquisition Ordinance, 2015 with the participation of people’s movements, trade unions, farmers and labour organisations, which have come together under the banner Bhoomi Adhikaar Andolan. Copies of the ordinance were burnt in several villages, blocks, district and state headquarters. The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), which is monitoring the protests, has said they have taken place at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, as also elsewhere.
The places of protest include Sonbhadra, Lakhimpur Kheri, Chitrakoot, Jaunpur, Saharanpur, Gonda, Lucknow and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh); in Rewa, Chhindwara, Panna, Yawal, Gwalior and Singrauli(Madhya Pradesh); Bhusawal, Jalgaon, Yawal, Chopra, Avalner, Faizpur, Nandurban, Taloda, Akkalkua (Maharashtra); and at Tapi, Songarh, Sagbara, Nijjar, and Dediyapada (Gujarat). They also happened at several places in West Bengal, Tripura, Bhubaneswar and Jaipur. Explaining the protests, NAPM says, “The Modi Government has once again proven that it is indeed anti-farmer-labourer and pro-corporates by promulgating the land ordinance 2015 on the eve of April 3.”
At each of the protests, copies of the ordinance were burnt.
Pointing out that the Modi government is “turning a complete blind eye to the nation-wide fierce opposition to the ordinance”, it says, “Neither did the government hold any dialogue with people’s movements and affected farmers/ labourers groups nor did it pay any attention to the political parties that have opposed this draconian ordinance.”
“With the single-minded agenda of kneeling before the corporates while crores of our citizens are exploited, displaced, disposed and deprived, this government has shown that it simply does not care for the poor and toiling people, for our land, agriculture and nature”, the NAPM says.
“The 2015 ordinance has once again removed important clauses of seeking consent for private projects and from land owners for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. It has also removed the much required Social Impact Assessment, mandated by the 2013 Act, showing its lack of seriousness to understand the impact of development projects on the lives of the people and affected groups”, NAPM says.
“Rather than addressing the needs of poor and widespread landlessness, the Modi government is using the mandate for taking the country forward to circumvent all parliamentary procedures and is hell bent on misusing its powers only to ensure private profits, putting the lives of millions of citizens at risk, in the name of development”, it points out.
Asserting that people's movements, workers unions, farmer organizations and concerned citizens of this country “will not allow this government to take this undemocratic and anti-people move and will intensify our opposition in every nook and corner of the country”, NAPM says, “We want to remind Modi that it is not merely about the perception, but about lives, livelihoods of our people and agriculture and nature of this country.”
Demanding nothing short of “withdrawal of the ordinance and for land rights” will be acceptable, NAPM says, protests will “continue in every nook and corner of the country and state-level conventions, padayatras, rail roko, rasta roko and muman chains in states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu in the upcoming weeks.”
Among those who actively organized the protests included the All India Kisan Sabha, the National Alliance of People’s Movement, the All India Union for Forest Working People, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, INSAF, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union, All India Krishak Khet Mazdoor Sanghatan, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Andolan, Kanjhwal Bhumi Bachao Andolan, Socialist Centre, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, others.

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