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Save the Constitution campaign highlights "indiscriminate" land acquisition in Dholera SIR

By Our Representative
On October 3, the National Alliance of People's Movements' (NAPM's) nationwide campaign to save the Constitution, Samvidhan Samman Yatra, reached Dholera in Ahmebabad district, where Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) Virodhi Andolan, Bhaal Bachao Samiti, and others welcomed the yatra. Farmers in large numbers along with other communities gathered in Baavaliyari village for a public meeting organised by local movement groups. The meeting was attended by people from all 22 villages coming under Dholera SIR.
Addressing people, farmers' leader Pradhyuman Singh said, Dholera has been planned as an SIR under the industrial corridor project, where about 922 square kilometers of prime agricultural, forest, and saline land of 22 villages are getting pooled. It is an investment region to satisfy the greed of big corporates for setting up their facilities and industries. Here, bureaucrats are far more dangerous than any industrialists. The notification for acquisition or displacement comes just one or two days before the process actually begins, thus leaving no time but to face the wrath of police officials and other authorities to protest eviction. State authorities are hell-bent on grabbing farmers' land in the name of SIR.
He further said that more than 30,000 hectares (ha) of government land and a large area of community land have been sold to Dholera SIR in the name of developing township and investment region. The Blackbuck Sanctuary, the Gulf of Khambhat, and other ecologically sensitive regions are under threat. Meanwhile, farmers are still waiting to receive water through Narmada canals constructed for irrigation. The water is being diverted to industries, coming up in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
After Dholera, the yatra reached Ambedkar Chowk in Bhavnagar, where Prafulla Samantara, recipient of green Nobel prize, garlanded the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Those who addressed the gathering included leaders of the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasangh, the All-India Democratic Women's Association and the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU). CITU leader Arun Mehta welcomed the yatra, saying police raj has become the norm, pointing towards the recent brutal action on farmers in Delhi.

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