The Struggle Widens
NARMADA ! Narmada petition - Call government's bluff about Oversight Group! Sardar Sarovar Oversight Group Violating its Terms of Reference * Prime Minister Must Recall Group and Halt Dam's Construction (Aid India, May 11) * Dharna and Public Meeting at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi: 11th & 12th May 2006 (NBA Khargone, May 10/11) MUMBAI 5,000 houses demolished in Mandala, Mankurd, Mumbai (National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) and Shahar Vikas Manch, May 9) * Mandala turned into Police state, severe repression continues /8 activists arrested and beaten up; charged with attempt to Murder (Initiative India, May 11)
From Delhi, Thursday, May 11, 2006
PLEASE SEND ON
"There Is A Fury Building Up Across India" (Arundhati Roy, April 29 – see CDDB 29)
As reported in the last issue of CDDB, massive demolitions have broken out in Mumbai, even as they roll on in Delhi. An estimated 400,000 people have been or are being displaced. Here is some news from one of the struggle fronts, Mandala (items 3 and 4).
The Narmada struggle continues. Item 1 is another petition for you to consider signing, around the critical stage of the struggle for truth around the Sardar Sarovar Project. But today, for the first time in CDDB, is some news also on another front in the Narmada struggle, around the Maheshwar Dam (item 2). The dharna (sit-down strike) and meeting announced in this message is not around the Sardar Sarovar Dam (featured in earlier issues of the CDDB and also in this one, item 1, and that held a dharna also at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from late March till late April), but around MAHESHWAR dam on the Narmada river, one more of the 3,000 plus dams slated to be built across the river. This is a separate stream of the NBA movement, focussing on somewhat different issues and using somewhat different tactics.
For the first time also. we are sending out pictures with items 3 and 4, and hope that these reach you okay.
Tomorrow, May 12, is the last date for comments on the Draft Housing Rights Bill referred to in CDDB 30.
Jai Sen, for CACIM
Note : The CDDB (CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin) is a digest of material on the struggles that have been going on for twenty and more years, and have recently intensified, in Bhopal, the Narmada valley, and Delhi, for a place to live in security and dignity – and everything that goes with that. The CDDB series started during late March and April 2006, when all three movements were holding protests in Delhi, and with the Bhopal and Narmada movements on ‘dharna’ (sit-down strike) simultaneously at a place called ‘Jantar Mantar’ in the city. See CDDB 1 and 2 for more details on Jantar Mantar and the demos. All back issues of this Bulletin (the CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin), number 0 onwards, are available @ : http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1
Some sites for more information : Go to www.cacim.net and see ‘Newsclippings’ and ‘Links’.
On 11.5.06 9:41am, "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Here is a petition calling out the blatant inconsistencies in the government's claims about the Oversight Group's work, using it as a pretext to continue construction. Please publicize.
SARDAR SAROVAR OVERSIGHT GROUP VIOLATING ITS TERMS OF REFERENCE PRIME MINISTER MUST RECALL GROUP AND HALT DAM'S CONSTRUCTION
‘‘Summary’’: The Terms of Reference and responsibilities of the Sardar Sarovar Relief and Rehabilitation Oversight Group (OSG) appointed by the Prime Minister of India were to undertake sample checks to ascertain the facts of rehabilitation". However the Additional Solicitor General informed the Supreme Court that the sample checks would not be conducted. OSG has also not discussed or recorded any decisions regarding conducting sample-checks. Sample checking of Narmada valley villages for rehabilitation problems should not take more than 5-7 days. However the OSG is exceeding its terms of reference and instead of surveying samples is planning on surveying each and everyone of the 35,000 or so families. This will take upto June 19 and meanwhile the dam will be built to 121.9 mts putting thousands of families in the submergence zone. Critical time has been lost by the OSG to actually act on its terms of reference that could have come up with a quick assessment like the one made by the Prof Soz led Group of Ministers. We urge the Prime Minister to take cognizance and recall the OSG and call halt to the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam since rehabilitation assessment by sample-checks up to 121.9 mts has not been carried out by the OSG. We urge the National Sample Survey Organization to actually survey samples and come with a quick assessment in 5-7 days by May 17th 2006. We urge the chair and members of the OSG to listen to their inner voice, apologize, and if they deem fit resign for violating their Terms of Reference.
On 9.5.06 7:05 pm, "Initiative"
Press Release | May 9, 2006
Police, along with Mumbai Collectorate officials demolished the slum communities of Indira Nagar and Janata Nagar in Mandala, near Mankurd Mumbai. About 500 - 700 police along with 6-7 bulldozers demolished about 5000 houses from both the areas, which is together called Mandala. The Police came around noon but was confronted by women and men. All of a sudden smoke was seen from behind and people went back to the community to quell the fire. The police then could gain entry and demolished the entire community. Those houses, which were not demolished, were set on fire. The fire is still burning and the fire brigade personnel are standing as passive viewers to the blaze, doing nothing to extinguish the fire.
The demolition is completely illegal as the government has clearly stated in their affidavit to the High Court that Mandala is reserved for people who were earlier demolished during the 2004 -'05 drive. Apart from this a Special Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary of Maharashtra appointed by the High Court is still working on how affordable housing can be provided to all the slum dwellers without any reference to a cut off date.
The demolition in Mandala is once again a blatant violation of the human beings basic right to housing. The irony is that the houses burnt down / demolished is situated on land allotted for rehabilitation by the Government of Maharashtra.
National Alliance of Peoples Movements and Sahar Vikas Manch protests against this inhuman act and demand the land be given legally back to the people and action be taken against those who ordered the demolition.
Nazren | Arif Kadari | Aisha Bi | Simpreet Singh | Maju Varghese
Contact: Maju Varghese: 9869708076
National Alliance of Peoples Movements Haji Habib Building, Naigon Cross Road, Dadar East, Mumbai Shahar Vikas Manch Sadbhavana Sadan, Gandhi Chawl, Bandra Plot, Jogeshwari (E), Mumbai
On 11.5.06 1:50 pm, "Initiative"
Mandala turned into Police state, severe repression continues 8 activists arrested and beaten up; charged with attempt to Murder Mandala has been virtually turned into a police state where more than 500 policemen terrorizing the people to leave the place day and night. Plain men and uniformed policemen with lathis and sticks are roaming around the place not even allowing people to gather in one place.
Aisha Bi, an activist from Mandala was picked up from house yesterday. As of now 8 people have been arrested which includes 5 men and 3 women. The police took Aisha bi from inside her house.
The activists were taken to the Govandi Police station and was abused and beaten up. Some of them were handcuffed violating every single law in this country. Activists were abused and beaten up in the presence of our advocate and are being charged with attempt to murder which is a non-bailable offence.
An independent team consisting of Ms. Lata Narayanan, Ms. Amita Bhide and Mr. Vijay Nagaraj of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has gone to site collecting first hand information and statements from the injured people. The people are terror stricken and not allowed to go the hospitals to take case papers by threatening them with arrest.
Police is also roaming in nearby bastis threatening people not to give food or shelter to the evicted people and are being forced to leave their lands. They also got drunk in the night and abusing people.
Shamin Banu who had a miscarriage after women police beat her in her stomach is recovering in the Sion hospital. She had lost conscious after being beaten up and was having severe bleeding.
We request friends to call/ fax/ email Home Minister immediately !
Discussion Points :
Mr. R.R. Patil, Home Minister of Maharashtra Telephone: 022 - 22022401,22025014 Fax: 022- 22024873 (0) 23631505 (r) Email:
Maju Varghese, Eviction Watch mailto:email@example.com