Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG)
A-302, Sharan Residency-1, Near Lohana Chhatralaya, Vasna, Ahmedabad
India, Beware! Police Raj in Gujarat, portents of an emergency!!!
Permission denied to farmers/protestors to demonstrate against the Dholera SIR.
The leaders of Jameen Adhikar Aandolan Gujarat (JAAG), in a press statement, have said that:
Gujarat has bid adieu to democracy and democratic practices. The GoG, busy in tomtoming its (illusory) record of development to the world, is forcing its own version of ‘development’ down the throats of unwilling farmers. The farmers wishing to protest this forced ‘development’ are being prevented from doing so.
Earlier, on 15th August 2013, the police cancelled the permission granted for the flag hoisting at the last minute to the protesting villagers in the Mandal-Bechraji SIR area. Then, on 23rdOctober 2013 the permission for the cattle rally from Hansalpur to Gandhinagar was denied to the protesting Maldharis. Then again on 18th January 2014 the cattle rally by the Maldharis was stopped by the police, they were beaten with lathis and had cases registered against them.
Likewise, the protesting Adivasis in the KADA area were rounded up just prior to the Chief Minister’s visit and released only after his appearance in the area was over.
Again on 18th December 2013, the police again tried to stop villagers who had gathered to share information about the SIR Act. The people assembled despite several attempts by the police to stop them. And then again on 28th December 2013 the police yet again denied permission to the youths for a motor-cycle rally on the issue of the SIR in Dholera.
The fact that the farmers are opposed to the CM’s pet Dholera SIR project and that they rather want the Narmada water for irrigating their fields was made known at the public hearing held in Dholera on 3rd January 2014. The farmers wish to hold a public meeting on 9th February 2014 at village Sandhida to reiterate the very same demands. Wishing to respect the rule of law and the codes of civil behaviour, the farmers sought police permission for the same and this has, once again, been denied to them. By doing so, they have made an unstated yet implicit admission that Gujarat today faces an undeclared Emergency, that the civil and political rights of citizens here remain suspended, and that democracy is no longer alive here.
Almost throughout the year, in most parts of Gujarat section 144 remains in force. At every public gathering of this kind, the police remains present in huge numbers as if the citizens pose a threat to the nation. Nevertheless, the farmers are determined to gather, as declared and announced, on 9th February 2014 at 10 am at village Sandhida. They will gather there and, in a peaceful and non-violent manner, will court arrest.
This behaviour of the police, albeit working under the orders of their political masters, is unacceptable and not to be taken lightly. These are alarm bells for people and activists who have remained alert as to the rights of the people. We condemn this behaviour of the police and call upon all citizens to join us in Sandhida to resist this subversion of democracy.
Pradhyumansinh Chudasma                                  Rajbha Chudasma                        Sagar Rabari
9426454698                                                           9925226217                                 9409307693
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)


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