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Bhopal Jan Sammelan: 5 Member Panel questions corporate-induced displacement and legal violations

​​Bhumi Adhikar Andolan Update

(Madhya Pradesh)

5-Member Independent Panel questions corporate
takeover of citizen’s rights in State
Madhya Pradesh on Displacement Spree
​: ​
People’s Organizations Unite in Solidarity at Bhopal
25th Nov, 2015: More than 500 adivasis, farmers, workers and activists from various mass organizations and movements representing almost 25 districts of the State came together in solidarity at Bhopal in a Joint Sammelan yesterday, to challenge the ongoing corporate loot and diversion of natural resources, unjust acquisition of land, multiple displacement and denial of rehabilitation through various projects and interventions of the state government, especially during the so-called “golden rule” of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, over the past decade. The Sammelan at Gandhi Bhavan was preceded by a rally from Kamla Park.
The people from numerous districts including Badwani, Khargone, Dhar, Neemuch, Gwalior, Vidisha, Sidhi, Singrauli, Bhopal, Satna, Anuppur, Shahdol, Alirajpur, Rewa, Mandla, Jabalpur, Katni, Panna, Umariya, Bhind, Morena etc poured out their grievances, with sharp analysis on the status of displacement and rehabilitation in the state before an Independent Panel of 5 Eminent Citizens including Shri Arun Gurtu, Former Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh; Shri Rajesh Joshi, Hindi Writer, Poet, Journalist and Playwright, Receipt and Returnee of 2002 Sahitya Academy Award; Prof. Suresh Mishra, Former Professor of History, Bhopal and Chief Patron, Global History and Culture Review Project, Central Indian Historical Research Foundation; Prof. Shyam Bore, Former Professor of Public Administration, Bhopal and Ms. Nisha Singh, Advocate and Activist, Women’s rights, Bhopal.
The Panel, after hearing more than 50 depositions over 5 hours from various people affected by large dams, thermal power plants, nuclear plant, canals, reservoirs, national parks, sanctuaries, highways, private and public sector companies concluded gross violation of the laws and directions of the Apex court and High Court, non-consultation with the Gram Sabhas as per PESA Act, 1996, prioritization of corporate interest over the common citizenry, shoddy rehabilitation, serious impacts on the environment as well as pauperization of the adivasi, dalit, women, working and farming communities.
The Interim Report of the Panel was read out to the audience and released to the Press in the evening by Prof. Suresh Mishra. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Arun Gurtu stated that this is certainly NOT the kind of development envisioned by the Constitution -makers, where 80 % of the population is further marginalized. [Interim Report of the Panel in English and Hindi attached]. The Panel shall deliver its Final Report soon. Some of the specific depositions before the Panel included:

Navratan Dubey, Mandla on the serious impact of the Chutka Nuclear Power Plant, forcible land acquisition, fraudulent public hearings and environmental devastation of Narmada.

Shanno Mansuri, Dist. Dhar on the massive displacement of 2.5 lakh people due to the Sardar Sarovar Project, false claims of R&R, denial of land, poor status of R&R sites etc.

Sunder Singh Baghel, Sidhi on the multiple displacement for the Ram Sagar Dam, Dudhi Coal Mine, Sarai Thermal Plant and again fresh land acquisitions.

Sanjay Namdev and Ramlallu Gupta, Singrauli on the NTPC, JP-owned and other Thermal Plants leading to severe health impacts, water and air pollution, soil contamination etc.

Akhilesh Yadav, Gwalior on the threat of displacement of 40 villages due to bird & wild life sanctuary.

Dalveer Kevat, Anuppur on the displacement of farmers due to the Mosaber Company.

Navinnur, Ratlam on the struggle of forest dwellers and tribals for pattas and serious impacts of power companies on agriculture and environment.

Devram Kanera, Dist. Dhar on the diversion of lakhs of hectares of land and water from SSP to corporates, diversion of irrigated land and water from Maan Dam to the Aditya Birla Ultratech Cement Company, violation of farmers rights and destructive of agriculture due to Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar canals in Badwani, Dhar, Khargone and Khandwa Districts.

A.K. Khan, Katni on the struggle of farmers against forced land acquisition for cement plants and other private companies, unemployment of 400 people at Jalasore – fraudulent allocation of reservoir/tanks to private parities instead of displaced fisher people, meager pensions etc.

Rajesh Tiwari, Jabalpur on the displacement without rehabilitation of 162 villages affected by Bargi Dam, submergence of un-acquired lands, ownership rights acquired as per the New LAQ Act.

Ashok Tiwari, Chambal on the excesses by the Max worth company, displacement due to sanctuary etc.

Satyam (Jabalpur) and Mathura Solanki (Bhopal) on the urban scenario – increasing displacement in the name of smart cities and beautification, impact on slum-dwellers, hawkers in Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and other cities.

Sekadiya, Alirajpur on the denial of land-based R&R to hundreds of the Jobat-Dam affected oustees in Alirajpur Dist.

Ashok Patel on the issues in Umariya and Shahdol districts, struggle of contract workers in the coal companies, status of Baiga and Gond adivasis, displacement due to Bandhavgad National park, denial of fishing rights and basic amenities like electricity etc.

Shashikant Patel, Khargone on the forcible land acquisition for the Omkareshwar – Kshipra Narmada Malva Gambhir Link, laying huge network of massive pipelines without compensation.

Krishna Kumar Shukla, Satna on displacement due to the Lilji Dam and Batia Barrage, thousands of acres of land in submergence, but no adequate R&R benefits to the oustees

Om Prakash, Bhind on unlawful submergence of lands of farmers for more than 8 years and no adequate compensation.

Dr. Sunilam, Chhndwada on the displacement without rehabilitation for the Pench Diversion Project, Machagora Dam and atrocities by the Adani Group for the Thermal Plant.
Various senior representatives of people’s struggles and farmers-workers groups including Com Badal Saroj (State Secy, All India Kaisan Sabha), Dr. Sunilam (Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Samajwadi Samagam), Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan and NAPM), Shri. Lajja Shankar Hardenia (veteran journalist), Shri Krishna Prasad (All India Kisan Sabha), Com. Arvind Shrivastav (Senior Advocate, Jabalpur High Court), Com. Paratap Samat (SUCI), Com. Jaswinder Singh, Shri Umesh Tiwari (Roko-Toko-Thoka Krantikari Morcha), Shri Mahesh Dutt (Former MLA, Jaura, Morena), Com. Ram Narain Kuraria, Shri Guha Thakurta, Shri Rakesh Diwan, Shri Yogesh Diwan etc. participated and spoke on the occasion.
Ms. Subhashini Ali also spoke on the occasion and extended her solidarity, stressing the specific need for women to be at the forefront of struggle and decision making and the need to combat the divisive politics of caste and religion. Com. Badal Saroj gave a strong call for a united struggle by all people’s movements of Madhya Pradesh and said that Central India should now shake up the entire country from the shackles of injustice. Com. Arvind Shrivastav stated that the time has come to even question the judiciary which seems to be giving the Constitution a go-by in many cases where corporate interests are at stake.
Dr. Sunilam stressed on the need to move towards a sustainable people-centric, political alternative. Recounting the success of collective struggle by Bhumi Adhikar Andolan and PM Modi’s retreat on the anti-people Land Acquisition amendments, Medha Patkar, called for a greater unity of movements of farmers, workers, landless, students, women etc. to address the burning question of land rights, livelihood and food security and democratic development. She announced the various programs in the state and national level in the upcoming days, especially the MP Jan Adhikar Yatra.
Com. Nisha Singh and others from the All India Democratic Women’s Association as well participated and strengthened the spirit with their revolutionary songs. The movements present also expressed a resolve to undertake various actions as discussed and decided during the recently concluded meet of the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan on 19th – 20th Nov at New Delhi, along with state level actions. These include:-
Upcoming Programmes:

New Delhi
Participation from M.P. in the Forest Rights Mass Rally at Delhi.
6th Dec:
New Delhi
Representatives of People’s organizations to attend the Save the Constitution, Save the Nation Convention.
10th Jan
National Meeting, Samajwadi Samagam
11th & 12th Jan:

Participation in Smriti Sammelan and 274th Kisan Mahapanchayat, Multai in memory of 24 slain farmers.
12th to 19th Jan
M.P. Yatra
Jan Adhikar Sampark Yatra proposed through Itarsi, Katni, Jabalpur, Sidhi, Singrauli, Rewa, Chhatarpur, Morena, Gwalior, Dhar, Badwani and Indore.
24th Feb:
New Delhi
Mass Participation at Delhi Rally, marking 1 year of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan
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Contact for Details: 9174181215 (Meera)|9425109770 (Dr. Sunilam) |9425006716 (Com Badal Saroj) |9425466461 (Rolly Shivhare)

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