Skip to main content

Medha Patkar, others detained in Allahabad, as farmers' opposition to land acquisition for power plants spreads

By Our Representative
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday morning swooped on several activists, trade union and left leaders, including senior activist Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), after it refused permission to take out a farmers' protest rally off Allahabad in protest against the allged refusal of the UP government to provide a viable compensatory package to those being displaced because of the power plants being constructed to meet the state's power needs.
Others taken into custody included Amarnath Bhai of Sarv Seva Sangh; Ramjee Rai, Editor, "Janmat"; Anshu Malviya, Utpala Shukla, Prema and Anuradha of Shahri Gareeb Sangharsh Morcha; Harishchandra of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU); ; OD Singh and KK Pale of Daman Virodhi Manch; Avinash of LIC Employees' Union; Krishna Swaroop Anandi of the Azadi bachao Andolan; and Rajesh Sachan of Indian People’s Front.
In a statement, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of people's organizations, said, the activists were even "refused to let them come out of the Allahabad University guest house"; they were "categorically told not proceed to the meeting venue in Kachri village, citing imposition of Sec 144 and fear of violence."
Giving a background, the NAPM said, "For years farmers and farm workers have been protesting against three thermal power plants being constructed within a distance of 20 kms near Allahabad. These plants of 1320 MW each Karchana and Bara (Jaypee) and Bara (NTPC and UP Power Corporation) will together impact more than 20 villages and nearly 5000 families."
Pointing out that "all three projects since beginning have been mired in protests and court cases due to irregularities in land acquisition processes", the NAPM said, the government has "tried to avoid the due process of land acquisition, either by old land acquisition act or the new land act."
"In 2012, deciding a case filed by the project affected families (PAFs) of Karchana Power Plant, the High Court ordered the government to return the forcibly acquired land, give back land, if farmers return the compensation amount, and follow the due procedures for any further land acquisition", NAPM said.
"Farmers have been demanding the implementation of this High Court order; however, the district administration has refused that in complete violation of the order. In fact the authorities have been forcibly seeking consent from the farmers and refusing to implement the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, which would mean seeking of farmers consent for the project, given that two of these are private power projects to be implement by Jaypee group", the NAPM said.
"In fact, within a distance of 60 kms near Allahabad and around six power plants cumulatively amounting for 7000+ MW are to be constructed, all geared towards meeting the demands of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. However, no comprehensive social or environmental impact assessment has been done till date", the NAPM added.
The NAPM said, "Tehsil karchana has been converted in to a police camp for some time now. People have been terrorised and brutalised since September 9 when project affected families of the Karchana power plant were beaten up by police and 42 people, including 13 children put behind bars."
Worse, said the NAPM, "they have been denied bail are being punished for extending support to the resistance by Meja PAFs to forcible acquisition of their land on September 9. Dr Raj Bahadur Patel, leader of Punarvas Kisan Kalyan Evam Sahayata Samiti has been declared absconding and a gangster and any one providing information will be awarded with Rs 12,000."
It further said, "Many of the farmers have been implicated in false charges and their family members are being targeted and harassed since then.Not only this, the district administration in complete violation of all laws have acquired more than 3500+ acres of land, as opposed to the 1100 acres which was needed for the Meja power plant. This includes the Gram Sabha land, forest land, and even Bhoodan land, on which nearly 1000+ labourers were working in the stone quarries."
Demanding that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh yadav should "urgently intervene" and release all the detained activists in Allahabad and also release the protesting farmers who are languishing in jail for more than ten days on "false" charges, the NAPM said, :Action also must be taken against the police officials who used high handed methods and have arrested 12 juveniles and are being kept in prison. Government also must implement the High Court Order and stop all forcible land acquisition in the area immediately."

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".