Skip to main content

Gujarat farmers' leader detained, as Modi launches his high profile roadshow in Surat; no reason offered

By Our Representative
In a move which is not surprised farmers' leaders, prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in Surat for road show, the police detained President of Khedut Samaj South Gujarat chief Jayesh Patel (Delat). The detention took place despite the fact that the Khedut Samaj did not plan any protest programmes, nor did it seek any
permission for protest.
The detention came amidst the news that farmers' representatives wanted to raise with Modi the case of income-tax recovery notices slapped on South Gujarat sugar cooperatives. The income tax (IT) department has sent recovery notices to some of the largest sugar cooperative clusters of South Gujarat. The notices suggest that 14 cooperatives evaded Rs 1,399 crore in taxes between 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Notices were served amidst farmers' leaders saying that the IT department "overlooked" the fact that agricultural incomes are exempt from tax under the IT Act. The farmers in South Gujarat are mainly depend on sugarcane farming.
While the police have given no reason for the detention, this is not for the first time that the cops swooped upon activists, detaining  them ahead of any VVIP visit, including Modi's.
The Khedut Samaj said in a statement, “The government, is so afraid of social activists that it earlier detained Khedut Samaj leaders Sagar Rabari and Lakhan Musafir, Patidar pro-quota leader Hardik Patel, Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani, among others, ahead of Modi’s programmes.”
Khedut Samaj stated, “This shows as to how intense the fear is of the people within the government. One need not say on whose orders are the ‘obedient’ police force acting.”
Rabari, commenting on the detention, said, “The farmers of Gujarat severely condemn this undemocratic and despotic step of the Gujarat government. This direct attack on democracy in Gujarat will be answered to by the people of Gujarat in the forthcoming elections.”
He added, “The government is resorting to the short-cut of suppressing the voice of the farmers instead of listening to them. We will undertake massive programmes of people’s education against the anti-democratic and autocratic steps by the ruling establishment.”
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Romel Sutariya of the Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Manch (AKSM), which represents the new class of tribal farmers of South Gujarat, said that Modi would be inaugurating the Surat District Co-Operative Milk Producer's Union or SUMUL’s Tapi plant in South Gujarat despite the fact that it has been constructed illegally on agricultural land.
Quoting sources, Sutariya said, the plant, situated off national highway near Valod taluka’s Bajipur village on a plot of land belonging to Titava village, which is an agricultural land, and has not been cleared for non-agricultural purpose.
“The plant was built despite the fact that the local panchayat opposed handing over the plot of land for non-agricultural purpose”, claimed Sutariya, adding, “Tapi district officials are learnt to have even decided to propose a fine of Rs 4 lakh for illegal construction.”
Sutariya demanded, during his visit, Modi should send out the signal to the state government so that it begins acting against chit fund scamsters, who are looting poor tribals. “If Modi speaks against chit fund scam in West Bengal, what stops him to speak about it in Gujarat”, it asked.

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

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.

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer