Repeal the Land Acquisition Act!

Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

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Demanding Repeal of Land Acquisition Act and Enactment of National Development Planning Act Thousands to Attend Sangharsh Dharna from Aug 3-5 in Delhi

 

New Delhi, August 2, 2011: In the wake of the new draft of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement slated for debate in the ongoing session of the Parliament, thousands of people from at least 15 states, affected due to the archaic Land Acquisition Act 1894 (LAA) is reaching Delhi tomorrow (Aug 3), demanding immediate repeal of LAA and replacement of it with a comprehensive National Development Planning Act.

 

“We welcome reopening the whole process and focus on the pre-legislative consultations. However one needs to keep in mind that the proposed draft is not a comprehensive draft but merely a combination of the earlier proposed two bills on land acquisition and rehabilitation, and fails to take in account the concerns raised by the millions of project affected people” Medha Patkar said.

 

Movements who have been opposing LAA have also been for long demanding community control over natural resources and the right to livelihood – some of it achieved under comparatively progressive legislations like the PESA Act, 1996 and the Forest Rights Act, 2006. Unfortunately, these very legislations are today under threat of being not implemented or worse misused for distributing land titles to some.

 

People are coming together in Delhi at a very crucial juncture. The poor from the cities who face eviction on a daily basis and whose livelihood is under threat, and those who are threatened by various developmental activities in the coastal states and the peasants whose land is constantly being grabbed for developmental activities would come and raise their issues. The question of establishing land rights of the marginal farmers, landless workers and peasants and their control over the natural resources, should be the focus of any new legislation dealing with the questions of land for development” Ashok Chaudhary, of National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, said.

 

Other than the general focus on Land Acquisition Act repeal and replacement with a comprehensive legislation, 3-day dharna (Aug 3-5) under the banner of Sangharsh would also address specific issues around: Dams (in Narmada Valley, North East India, Himachal and Central India), Thermal & Nuclear Power projects, Urban displacement, Forest Rights and Community Governance, struggles against Corporations (POSCO, Jaypee, Adanis, Tata, Coca Cola, Vedanta, Mittal, Reliance, Jindal, etc), and protecting livelihood rights of rural and urban communities in the form of statutory government entitlements such as demanding a universal PDS and adequate beneficial rights to BPL members and oppose any move at introducing cash transfers.

 

Representatives of people’s movements would meet with the Ministers  / senior officials of the Ministries to discuss in detail their issues. People would meet Agriculture, Rural Development, Environment and Forests, Urban Development, Commerce and Industry, Social Justice and Empowerment and Planning Commission.

 

Key organizations attending the 3-day dharna would be national networks likeNational Alliance of People’s Movements, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, National Hawkers Federation, National Domestic Workers Union, SEZ Virodhi Manch and Jan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, organizations like Narmada Bachao Andolan – Madhya Pradesh, PennurumaiIyakkam – Tamilnadu, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti – Assam, Nadi Ghati Morcha – Chattisgarh, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan – Mumbai, Aadivasi Mul Nivasi Astitva Raksha Manch – Maharashtra,  Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Matu Jan Saghatan – Uttarakhand, Machchi  Maar Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti – Gujarat, Renuka Dam Sangharsh Samiti – Himachal Pradesh, Birsa Munda Bhu Adhikar Manch – Jharkhand, Posco Prathirodh  Sangram Samiti – Odisha and others.

 

Contacts:

Vijayan – 9582862682 / 9868165471,

Madhuresh – 9818905316

Joe – 9871153775

 

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For daily updates on the dharna: http://sangharshblog.wordpress.com/

For Podcasts: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sangharsh-dharna-aug-3-5-2011

Follow us on Twitter: #sangharsh

For higher resolution photos of dharna, contact: +91-9871153775

 

 


National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
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Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316

E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com | napm@napm-india.org
Web : www.napm-india.org

Struggle over land and democracy in India continues

Public Convention on Save Democracy

Desh Bachao – Desh Banao

A RESOLVE

June 27th 2011, New Delhi

We all who have assembled here today discussed the political situation in the country in the wake of ongoing struggles across the country in Assam against evictions, Narmada Valley against submergence and displacement, Golibar, Mumbai against Shivalik; Jagatsinghpur, Orissa against POSCO; Raigarh, Chattisgarh against Jindals; Mundra, Gujarat and Chausra, MP against Adani; Kalinganagar Orissa against Tata and thousand other places. The struggle against Reliance, Jindal, Tata, Adani, Jaypee, Mittals and other Corporations and the collaborating State power is not only to protect their livelihood but central to this is defending the basic tenets of our democracy. The overall struggle is for deepening of democracy in the country – to establish the rule of law, to ensure right to life and livelihood with dignity, to ensure democratic control over natural resources – jal, jangal, jameen and Khaniz (land, water, forest and minerals).

The social and political churning witnessed at this moment in the country today is encouraging. In a political context where the questions of working class and poorest of the poor assumes prime importance we RESOLVE that :

  •  Our collective struggles have to deal with the corruption at every level and work towards establishing communities control over the natural wealth of the country. In the wake of increasingly oppressive power of State and Corporations, our collective struggles of dalits, adivasis, women, urban poor, the displaced, workers, farmers etc. have to challenge the crony capitalism and work towards a society based on equality and political freedom.
  • Everyone need to join this struggle for stronger legislations like Lokpal Bill which will control the corruption in this country and other measures which will bring back the black money stashed in the country in different forms of illegal and benami investments and tax heavens in foreign countries.
  • We will struggle together to scrap the regressive legislations like Land Acquisition Act, Special Economic Zone Act and others and agitate for drafting of a development planning act in this country with the free informed and prior consent of the strengthened Gram / Basti Sabhas and other local self-government institutions.

We urge everyone – people from all walks of life workers, adivasis, dalits, urban poor, women, men and professionals, intelligentsia and everyone else to join in this struggle against exploitation, oppression and inequality and secure justice and dignity for everyone. Let us all join hands to work together !

The Convention was addressed by Medha Patkar, Kuldip Nayar, Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar, Swami Agnivesh, Mastram Kapoor, Yogendra Yadav, Arvind Kejariwal, Raja Bundela, Dr. Sunilam, Ravi Kiran Jain, Smt Manju Mohan, Kavita Krishnan, Ajit Jha, Rakesh Rafiq and many other activists.

Note : Next national meeting on July 3rd, Sunday, 10:00 am onwards @ Centre of Science for Villages, Wardha, Maharashtra. For details write to napmindia@napm-india.org | 9818905316

 

Developers vs. Slumdwellers in Bombay

Press release from the National Alliance of People’s Movements and the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (the Movement to protect homes and build homes)

For Immediate Release                                                   24th June, 2011

NAPM condemns brazen attacks on slum activists and residents

Struggle to intensify: Thousands to challenge Builder-Raj and Goonda-Raj

Emboldened with the absolutely immoral and unjustifiable decision of the Maharashtra Government, the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to withdraw the decision constituting two committees to enquire in to the slum rehabilitation frauds, the builders are attacking the activist slum dwellers in Mumbai. Those who have exposed massive corruption and scam, and shown courage to fight the legal and non-violent battle till the agitation with 9 days fast by Medha Patkar and 1200 others on relay fast, are targetted by the musclemen of the builder’s lobby, which has a share vested interest, along with the political class and protected by the police administration.

After the first attack on Sandip Yevale and Ashok, the second one took place at the gates of the building of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) itself. The 25 strong group of those associated with Satyen Tandan, the builders who have been trying to bully the Sikh and other families in Guru Nanak Nagar where RTI documents to all attempts to discover the fraud have shown results, attacked 75 years old and other residents with iron rods. Gurinder Singh Saini (65) received serious head injury requiring 9 stitches, Harbans Singh Parmar (60+) was dragged with his hair and others including Meher Singh (65+), Gurudayal Singh (75+) etc. were also injured. While they were immediately admitted, the serious, violent and fatal attackers were only taken in custody and kept seated at the police station till next evening and were released out on bail.

The residents of Golibar know this is one more discriminatory and repressive act unlike the 7 days judicial custody imposed on the innocent old and young women and men who merely opposed the police force in a peaceful way from entering into the pucca houses and demolishing them. “The statement recorded by the police was also said to have been ‘lost’ and the behaviour of the police at local station was absolutely partial”, said  Simran, who is leading the women in Guru Nanak Nagar and was witness to the incident. The real culprit Shivaji Patil, one of the Directors of the Builder firm, their advocate and Mr. Raj who were at the scene and participated are not even arrested yet !

Ghar Bacaho Ghar Banao Andolan has reported and warned the Home Minister and has demanded immediate action against the known criminals. It is obvious that such brutality is taking the worst form and scale due to the Government’s decision to reverse the assured path of enquiry into builder’s illegalities. GBGB, NAPM and thousands of slum dwellers and middle class residents with supporters from all walks of life are to take the fight ahead against this corruption and criminalization by profiteering private developers.

Santosh Daundkar               Madhuresh Kumar             Faiza             Medha Patkar  (09821943920)                      (09818905316)                       (09820683281)