Skip to main content

Another attempt to "suppress" non-political dissent in Gujarat: Lakhan Musafir put on house arrest off Narmada

At Indravarna village, off Narmada river, a "prototype"
to acquire tribal farmers' land
By Our Representative
In a fresh attempt to "suppress" dissent, the Gujarat government has put under house arrest well-known South Gujarat activist Lakhan Musafir, who is leading adivasis' struggle for preserving their land, sought to be acquired for the Statue of Liberty project off Narmada dam. This is the second time has been put under house arrest ahead of Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel's visit to Narmada in less than two months' time.
Work for the statue, which is proposed to be of 182 metres, highest in the world, has begun on Sadhu Bet, an island situated 3.2 kilometres from the Narmada dam. The project includes developing the whole area, which includes land belonging to tens of villages, as a tourism spot along the river Narmada, and is slated to cost at least Rs 3,000 crore.
The house arrest of Musafir has happened in about a week after the district court in Vyara sharply criticized the state government for "illegally" arresting of young tribal farmer activist of South Gujarat, Romel Sutariya, on the apprehensions of creating law and order problem ahead of Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel for Gujarat Day celebrations on May 1.
Similar arrests and detentions have been happening all over Gujarat recently. In February this year, another tribal farmer activist Jayram Gamit was arrested and kept behind bars for several weeks under the Prevention of Anti-Social Act (PASA) for proposing to organize a tribal farmers' rally in protest against sand mafia seeking to destroy the alluvial destroy. The rally was banned, declaring there was a "terrorist plot".
In January 2015, veteran Gandhian Indukumar Jani, one of the senior-most economists, Prof Rohit Shukla, and Gautam Thaker, general secretary, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), were detained for the whole day in Ahmedabad.They were going about 20 km away to participate in a farmers' rally, called to protest against the Vibrant Gujarat business summit (January 11-12).
In a strongly-worded protest letter to the state authorities against such arrests, as also the latest move to put Musafir under house arrest, Gujarat Khedut Samaj leader Sagar Rabari, Gujarat Social Watch's Mahesh Pandya, and PUCL's Gautam Thaker have said this is part of the harassment meted out to Gujarat activists "by the police on a regular basis".
Pointing out that "whenever the Chief Minister plans to visit the area, they are detained or kept under house arrest", the letter said, earlier, on April 25, 2015 the police had "resorted to detentions, house arrest-like conditions or preventive arrests of non-political grassroots activists and workers in the area in view of the CM’s programme and visit to the area."
The letter said, "It was the fifth or sixth such detention of activists. No reasons were given for the ‘arrests’. Yet again, today, June 11, 2015, the police has done the same thing with the same people. In view of the CM’s programme in the area, the police have put Musafir, the leader of the successful movement of the people of the area, under house arrest."
"If the police is taking them into custody to safeguard them from any threats, then the police should let them know who is a threat to their life and security. No explanations or clarifications are ever given", the letter insisted, adding, "This modus operandi to thwart dissent is not acceptable to us. In a democracy, every citizen has a right to express his/her dissent."
"How can the administration snatch away this right from the people?", the letter asks, adding, "We do not know under whose instructions they are doing so." It asks the district collector to take "prompt action" against those responsible for this violation of democratic rights.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

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.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.

ISKCON UK clarifies after devotees contract virus 'due to' big temple congregation

Counterview Desk
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees became infectious because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community because of March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president Srutidharma Das, in which about 1,000 people participated.