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#India – Why are the Jaitapur fisherfolk angry ? #mustread

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Fisherfolk in Sakhri Nate protesting against Areva's projectFisherfolk in Sakhri Nate protesting against Areva’s project

The plan by NPCIL to establish 9900 MW nuclear project was first publicly announced in Sept 2005. The Jaitapur project is planned to be the biggest nuclear power station in the world. This project is to be spread over 968 hectors of land of five villages- Madban, Niveli, Karel, Mithgavane & Varliwada. However to fight against forcible land acquisition, the locals had formed “Janhit Seva Samiti”, under this banner all protests were organized. Mr. Pravin Gawankar was the President of this Samiti. He was a “Khot” i.e. big landlord of Madban. Another office bearer Dr. Milind Desai too is a big farmer whose family owned more than 150 acres of land in Mithgavane. There were a number of unregistered & unrecorded tenants on his land.On Friday i.e. 30th Aug 2013 Janhit Seva Samiti’s president Mr. Gavankar and Dr. Milind Desai had a meeting with industrial minister Mr Narayan Rane, along with 25 farmers. In this meeting he submitted a memorandum of 25 demands on behalf of their organization. Wide publicity was given to this event. The event and the subsequent publicity raise many questions in the minds of an activist and the antinuclear movement of India.

The actual facts and the reality of protests in the project area and against the nuclear power project was revealed by the local Sakhari- Nate fisher folks and Mithgavane, Madban Panchkroshi Samiti by their fisher folk leader Mr. Amajad Borkar, Mr. Mansur Solkar and others on 31st Aug 2013.

Although on paper only 2375 farmers were project affected as they actually owned the land in this area but the fisher folks too are project affected but they do not own any land. The fisherfolk have been in the forefront of these protests. From 2009, the anti-nuclear movement became very strong and the subsequent government repression was condemned all over India. Leaders like Justice Kolse Patil, Justice P. B. Sawant & activist Vaishali Patil were banned from entering area. Earlier, a youth lost his life in police firing. This aggravated the protests. At about this time many prominent local leaders were harassed by police by issuing externment process and falsely implicating them in acts of violence and disturbing peace.

Sakhari-Nate, a village of 10,000 population which is just going to be 5-10 k.m. away from the reactor, is the most affected and has been in the forefront of protests. They have organised a press conference and have condemned the decision of Mr. Gavankar to negotiate with the government and take back the protests. The fight against nuclear project is going to continue as many feel let down by Mr Gavankar. With or without Gavankar, the protests are going to continue.

Vaishali Patil
Convener, Konkan Vinashkari
Prakalap Virodhi Samiti

Email [email protected]
Mob: 9422696976

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