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Nitish Kumar's office refuses to accept 3,800 farmers' plea for rehabilitation

By Our Representative
In a letter to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, top National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) activists led by Medha Patkar have regretted that an official from his department refused to take the plea of 3800 applicant-farmers, who are affected by frequent flooding of the Kosi river.
NAPM said, Manoj Kumar, deputy secretary in his office, returned the pleas to the Kisan Navnirman Manch (KNM), who had come to deliver these saying nothing would come of this even if they ran around for 3800 years, calling the representatives brokers, and insisting that each of the applicants should come individually.
Reminding Kumar that he calls himself a socialist and a Gandhian, NAPM said, it was tragic that despite this the farmers' pleas were not received, which goes against the spirit of democracy, adding, this is contrary to his own stance of showing sensitivity towards the farmers affected by the problem of silt because of the Farakka barrage.
The problem has further accentuated, the letter -- also signed, among others, by signed Ramkrishnam Raju, Prafulla Samantra, Lingaraj Azad, Kavita Srivastava, Sandeep Pandey, and Gabriel Dietrich -- added, because the river has been changing course due to frequent floods, destroying millions of acres of farmland.
Insisting that the farmers would need to be rehabilitated urgently, NAPM said, the government should not charge land revenue, adding, despite distress among farmers, agricultural cess continues to be charged. It asked the chief minister to accept the applications, initiate legal steps regarding the loss of land, and call on farmers' representatives for talks.

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