Skip to main content

Jharkhand violence: Following 7 deaths, 80 injuries, agitating people being picked up "randomly": NGO network

By Our Representative
The Right to Food Campaign (RFC), which is the apex body of tens of NGOs working on livelihood issues, has said that so far seven persons have died and 80 injured because of the “continued violence” and “repeated firing” by Jharkhand police on local people’s opposition to displacement in the villages of Gola, Badkagaon and the town of Khunti.
In a statement, RFC has said, over and above this, “large numbers of innocent people have also been arrested, criminalising people’s peaceful resistance movements and undermining democracy”, adding, all this is happening because of the “pro-corporate face of the Raghubar Das BJP government.”
“The Chief Minister of Jharkhand also gave a blatant, unlawful violent threat to those opposing the amendments in Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (CNT-SPT) by saying that all those who stand against these amendments will be beaten up”, RFC says.
The statement alleges, “This is also in line with complete support being extended by BJP led governments in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Gujarat to trigger-happy security forces and the shameless promotion of corporate profiteering in the name of development at the cost of life and livelihood of the people.”
The “first killings” took place at Gola, Ramgarh, on August 29, as villagers were protesting the displacement which was to follow soon after the private power plant owner “wanted the land for the installation of the second unit 63 MW coal-based thermal power plants near Gola”, and the police fired, leading to the death of two persons.
Then, in Badkagaon block of Hazaribag district four people were killed in a police firing on October 1. Here, people were protesting the acquisition of land and displacement by National Thermal Power Corporation for their Pakri-Barwadih coal mine.
Further, on the on October 22, one person was killed, when people were protesting against the BJP government’s ordinance to amend the CNT-SPT Act, “which have been in existence since the British period to protect the lands from outsiders”, says RFC. This happened even as the tribals from Khunti were going to Ranchi to protest against the amendment, and the police opened fine.
Meanwhile, quoting reports, RFC says, after the October 1 violence at Badkagaon block of Hazaribag, the police and rapid action force (RAF) to “continue to wage violence on innocent villagers”, adding, “People are being picked up randomly on the pretext that they were part of the agitation.”
“In the fear of police violence a number of families have fled from the villages or have sent the women and children somewhere else”, RFC says, adding, “At the heart of the recent killings is the state’s bid to forcefully acquire land for setting up infrastructure projects, mining and the state’s own discomfort with the laws governing and protecting the rights of the tribals over their land, water, forests and minerals.”
“There is a growing unrest in Jharkhand today, which will only lead to more deaths and killings”, believes RFC, adding, “The tribals in the state are already facing acute hunger and the deaths and further bid of conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is only going to make the situation worse.”
Quoting a recent Rapid Survey on Children of the Government of India, RFC says, “53% Adivasi children in Jharkhand are malnourished (stunted) and 41% adolescent girls have a low body mass index.” 
Those who have signed the RFC’s statement include Kavita Srivastava and Dipa Sinha (Conveners Right to Food Campaign), Annie Raja (National Federation for Indian Women), Colin Gonsalves (Human Right Law Network), Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj (National Campaign for People’s Right to Information), Madhuresh, Arundhati Dhuru and Ulka Mahajan (National Alliance of People’s Movements), and others.

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).

Kandla Port Trust activities 'destroyed' mangroves, affecting rare camel species: NGT

By Rajiv Shah
Taking serious note of large-scale destruction of mangroves on about 750 acres in Bhachau taluka of Kutch district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi, has “directed” the Gujarat government, its forest department, and the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GSZMA), to “jointly inspect the area” and fix responsibility as to who is “responsible for obstruction of the creeks” next to the Kandla Port Trust (KPT), leading to the damage to the plantations in the area.