Skip to main content

Builder-politician nexus in Ahmedabad for land named after Morarji behind tension in minority area: NGO team

Morarji Chowk
By Our Representative
A fact-finding team led by volunteers of the civil rights organization Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), Ahmedabad, has said that the recent tension in a Muslim neighbourhood of old Bapunagar area, where the Gujarat Housing Board wants to construct an affordable housing scheme, is the direct result of the nexus between local politicians and builders.
Alleging that the builders have been “eyeing” an open plot of land, Morarji Chowk, for years, a report prepared by a social activist for the team, Mujahid Nafis, said, “Ever since the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Gujarat government has wished to occupy the open space variously for a Gujarat Housing Board scheme or an accommodation for the police personnel.”
Quoting locals, the report said, the land has been used as a playground for children ever since Morarji Desai came here around 1951, apart from social functions and, now, as a parking lot as well. “Even state level football matches were played on this ground. Despite pressures, the local people have fought the efforts by interested parties to acquire the land”, it added.
“We were told by local women how State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel were trying to provoke tension by misbehaving with the local people for a few days. Things turned ugly on June 6, when, following prayers in the mosque opposite the Morarji Chowk, there were efforts to pacify tension”, the report said.
Without recalling the police claim that a mob of around 3,000 people had gathered to torch the nearby police station, the report said, the tension erupted four days before the incident on June 6, when some unidentified persons torched a few motorbikes parked, leading to a tent nearby catching fire.
Following this, on the night of June 6-7, the report said, “Cops entered several houses, and picked up 85 male folk at random. This included 11 adolescents, who were freed following local pressure. The police wanted to know who had torched the motorbikes.”
“The police FIR names of 10 persons who allegedly were involved in torching the motorbikes, apart from an unidentified crowd of 2,500-3000 persons”, the report said, adding, “One of the persons named in the FIR had gone abroad on May 16.”
The issue of construction of a Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) society in the Morarji Chowk is under dispute in the Gujarat High Court, which in May third week stayed the work.
This happened after the petitioners, who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL), stated before the court that construction had started in the free space on May 16, even though the matter was pending before the High Court. The next hearing by Justice AJ Shastri was posted on June 7, the date on which the incident took place.
The GHB maintained during the argument in the court that categorisation of the Morarji Chowk land as playground was a “mistake”.
This was the second attempt by the GHB to use the land for housing scheme. In 1989, residents of the area had moved the Gujarat High Court against such a move. However, the GHB declared that it was not coming up with any construction on the plot, and the petition was disposed of.
The fact-finding team consisted of JSM’s Shamshadbhai Pathan, an advocate, Imtiaz Pathan and Ejaz Ansari, activists Azima and Mujahid Nafees, individuals Kaushar Ali Syed, Ejaz Pathan, Javed Kureshi, Vasif Husain, and independent journalist Kalim Siddiqui.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

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.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

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.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Abysmal deficit of water, food waste recycle treatment 'impacting' Chennai life

By Simi Mehta*  We are living in a state where the most basic needs like food and water are not assured to the people residing in the urban areas, which account for the biggest sources of food and water wastage. Socio-economic inequality in society which is pervasive in urban areas is one of the main reasons for this.