Skip to main content

Mumbai toxic hell residents being "punished": State govt "erasing" protesters from voter list

Counterview Desk
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), Mumbai-based civil rights organization, has alleged that the Maharashtra government is "erasing" names of protesters of Mumbai's toxic hell, Mahul, from the voters' list. Forcibly shifted to Mahul, their protests have entered 43rd day.
Calling it government response to Mahul residents’ protest, GBGBA said this is being done with an eye of forthcoming elections.

GBGBA statement:

The Mumbai High Court had ruled that Mahul (the extremely polluted industrial area of Mumbai where 5,500 poor families were forcibly rehabilitated after their homes were demolished) was unfit for human living, ordering the Government of Maharashtra to find alternative accommodation for them.
The state government has not just declined to obey the orders of the High Court, forcing the Mahul residents to occupy a pavement at Vidyavihar near their old slums to protest against the government ignoring pollution related deaths and health hazard. The Devendra Fadnavis government has "communicated" a strange response to Mahul residents’ protest against the state government’s inaction.
It has decided to "solve" the problem by taking all dissenters and protestors off the voting list, and make 30,000 Indian citizens disappear from the Indian electorate during the 2019 elections -- as punishment for protesting against human rights abuse and being dumped in #MumbaisToxicHell.
On December 12 morning, Anita Dhole, petitioner in the High Court case, whose orders the government is ignoring, received a ‘punishment notice’ that her name had been taken off the voters’ list of Vidhyavihar, Mumbai, where she was born and raised nearly 40 years ago, at an address which is on her voter ID card, Aadhar card, electricity bills, etc. It argued in this notice that since she had been ‘rehabilitated’ elsewhere (Mahul), she couldn’t be counted as a voter in Vidyavihar.
Now here’s where it gets even more interesting – Dhole, like majority of Mahul ‘rehabilitation’ cases, have not even received allotment papers for the tenements that she has been allotted in Mahul, meaning, she will not even be counted as a voter in Mahul. Once she is scrapped off the Vidhyavihar list, she will cease to be on any voter’s list, and she will cease to exist as an Indian citizen eligible to vote!
More so, since the High Court Order states that she, like 30,000 others like her, cannot be allowed to remain in unacceptably polluted Mahul. Instead of obeying High Court orders, the state government is actually using the High Court orders to take poor people and victims of their atrocities off the voting list, fearing these people could vote against the ruling party.
Dhole is not the only one knocked off the voter list today. All the victims of the ‘government eraser’ are protesters of Mahul issue. And majority of them have not been given allotment papers for Mahul either. All these people will ‘disappear’ overnight from the voters’ listaltogether.
Dhole, along with 80 other victims of the ‘citizen-deleting’ move ahead of the 2019 elections, went to the election office on December 12 at Ghatkopar west to complain peacefully. The office’s response was to call the police, who sent five police vans full of policemen, who were then instructed to escort five of the Mahul representatives to the district collector’s office in Mulund, where they were asked to present their grievance, flanked by policemen, as if they were the ones guilty of a crime.
They met Surendra Navle, tehsildar, who assured them that if they could produce a copy of the High Court order instructing the government to move them out of Mahul along with a written appeal/ complaint letter, he would correct the problem and reinstate their names in the Vidyavihar list. Ome has to see what will happen.
The very same drama was played out a few months earlier as well, when similar ‘erasing’ notices were served, and deputy collector Tejas Samil responded to the Mahul residents’ written complaint by committing that such a removal of names from the voter list would not happen in future.
Apparently, this was a lie, and it has happened again. Whenever there is voice of protest vfrom Mahul dissent, the Fadnavis’ government’s response is to erase these citizens, and take away their vote – the only power available to poorer sections in a democracy to remove criminals and oppressors in their constituency from positions of power.

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Fadnavis continues to disappoint me--I do not know how far he will go to "trod on the downtrodden"
Uma Sheth said…
IIT-B report has just come out and the government can no longer delay shifting the unfortunate residents of Mahul

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

'Allow critical thinking': SAARC-sponsored varsity teachers support protesting students

By Our Representative
Teachers of the high-profile South Asian University (SAU), a New Delhi-based international institute sponsored by eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – have supported “peacefully protesting students and other citizens” against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.