Skip to main content

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani "organizes" rail roko at Ahmedabad railway station to highlight land rights issue

By Our Representative
A day after he was stopped from protesting against the Vibrant Gujarat world business meet – which began in Gandhinagar's Mahatma Mandir on Tuesday – by detaining him for the whole day along with his supporters (click HERE), Gujarat's top Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, with tens of his mainly rural Dalit supporters, reached Ahmedabad railway station to carry out “rail roko” (stop train) agitation.
Mevani was forced to withdraw his much publicized “rail roko” agitation, which was to be held at on October 1 at Maninagar railway station in former state assembly constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he had done this because of security concerns (click HERE).
He was to hold the rail roko in protest against the state government's alleged failure to look into his demand to provide physical possession of the land to the Dalits. Thousands of acres of land had been distributed to rural Dalits across Gujarat only on paper, though the actual possession remained in the hands of the rural ruling groups.
“We hope that the government will positively look into our just and reasonable demands”, he had said, adding, Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja, following talks with him, had “showed his readiness to hold talks regarding the demand”, hence he was “canceling the rail roko.”
Reviving his “rail roko” plan after a gap of three-and-a-half months, Mevani on Wednesday evening stopped Rajdhani Express. While Mevani and some of his supporters climbed up in front of the train's engine, others sat on the rail track to ensure that the train does not move. About 20 of them, including Mevani, were detained by the railway police. A case has been registered against them.
Appreciating the move, senior farmers' activist Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), who was also detained on Tuesday for seeking to organize anti-Vibrant Gujarat summit protest, justified “rail roko”, saying that Mevani was forced to take the route because “numerous representations to the government” for land distribution to landless, especially Dalits, had failed.
Rabari, making a statement, said, “All democratic means of protest are being stymied by the government. In these circumstances, the landless persons, under the leadership of convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch Jignesh Mevani, reached the Kalupur railway station and carried out rail roko.”
Rabari added, “The consistent disregard of people’s demands has resulted in them losing patience. The Gujarat government ought to pay serious attention to the issues of the farmers and should take concrete steps to hand over possession of the santhni land to the landless people of Gujarat.”
Demanding that the Gujarat government should take back its “anti-farm and anti-farmer amendments” to several progressive laws, such as Land Acquisition Act, 2013, Rabari said, “The consistent and shameless disregard of the demands of the landless people of Gujarat to hand over possession of land to them is now testing the patience of the people.”
Rabari said, “The KSG appeals the government to immediately hand over the possession of the land to the beneficiaries. Also, it appeals to respect people’s democratic right to demonstrate and express grievances, instead of suppressing the dissent voice. ”
”Landless people in Gujarat have not been handed possession of the land which was allotted to them in the last 10 years”, he said, adding, “Hence they have not been able to carry out agriculture operations on it. Their demands are being consistently ignored by the government.”

Comments

TRENDING

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Degrading conditions amidst Covid-19: Toxic ship at Alang, Gujarat, 'endangers' migrants

Counterview Desk
Evironmental activist Dr Gopal Krishna, who edits the ToxicsWatch journal, in an open letter to the chairman, Ship Breaking Scrap Committee, Union Ministry of Shipping, with copies to the joint secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and other Government of India ministries* has said that there exists “threat to Indian maritime environment and security from viral diseases like Covid-19 from ballast water and toxic substances.”

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”