Government of Gujarat responsible for the death of Duljibhai, rejecting his legal claim for the land.
The Adivasis from Gujarat, affected by Sardar Sarovar Project have been on Relay Fast since July 15th, 2016. Since yesterday night, they are at the agitation site (opposite Rehabilitation Development Office, at Kevadia Colony, near the dam site) with a dead body kept nearby.
The dead body is of 80 years old adivasi Dulijibhai Bhil of original village, Kadada, on the bank of Narmada. But it can’t be called a natural death since one must know how & why the death occurred and why are such old & young adivasi oustees compelled to go for such a long agitation, with no redressal! Duljibhai’s story is typically self-explanatory!
It was village Kadada, one of the 19 villages affected, fully hilly community in the mountain ranges of Vindhyas, which had no electricity, no motor pump, no shop, and no school!
Duljibhai belonged to the Bhil community that lived on agriculture with the only support of trees, forest & fish. There were a large number of families whose names were not in the official list of the oustees, and many of them, therefore, continued to live in the village Kadada itself, dispersed in to various phalias (hamlets) of Kadada. Many others, shifted to rehabilitation site (vasahats) with their fathers, haven’t got land/rehabilitation till date. Many old adivasis, undeclared and not rehaibilitated, have passed through a long process of complaining before Grievance Redressal Authority (retired judges in chair) as directed by the Apex Court, faced harassment and suffered of expenses and delays with no redressal.
Duljibhai had paternal land, and after his father’s death, his mother and his 3 brothers with himself became the successors. The submergence occurring in village Kadada since 1994 compeled the family to shifted to the R & R site, Amaroli in 2007 where three brothers did get the government allotted land but Duljibhai was left out. However Duljibhai’s complaint was lodged with GRA since 2002 itself. GRA of Gujarat, as usual, forwarded the complaint to Saradar Sarovar Punrvavat Agency and there was no positive response to Duljibhai.
At Amroli, his two elder brothers, Bhaglabhai and Bhuljibhai & younger brother Rumalya got land, whose 5 acres landholding for each is also not adequate yet cultivated by many sons & grandsons with families of theirs. Duljibhai, on the other hand is left with no source of livelihood nor houseplots. Even in 2003 as per the village Panchanama, in Dhulji’s Bhai family alone there were five major sons. If Duljibhai’s declared as oustees at least few of them could have got declared as project affected and received R & R benefits.
Duljibhai had submitted complaint application to GRA since years and he also furnished certificate of succession as well as a Panchanama with the village Sarpanch and few other villages as the Panchas’ in 2003 itself. However Duljibhai received a letter from GRA as second response rejecting his claim just a few days ago which was indeed a shock to him at the age of 80 after having a struggle so long.
The whole family of Dhulajibhai, including women & children had sat outside the office in N aswadi, about a year ago however they were forced to give up 2 days fast, including one by Dhulajibhai. Naib Tehsildar, who held a dialogue along with the police officers, then made promises to enquire & do justice. Yet nothing happened.
Dhulajibhai was committed to the rights through struggle and participated in various activities, always. He and his family members were at the Relay Fast too and with no final & concrete response from the Government of Gujarat, he laid his life.
Dhulji’s story brings out the way in which SS affected adivasis are facing torture in Gujarat. The adivasis sitting with dead body of Duljibhai Bhil are demanding reply to all their demands & those of Duljibhai.
Will the NCA take the responsibility for such an inhumane torture to death of an adivasi oustee, against the false claim of the Gujarat government having rehabilitated all the oustee families since years ago?
Do write, immediately to Vijay Rupani, CM Gujarat; Ms. Uma Bharati, Water Resource Minister of India; Jual Oram, Minister for Tribal Affairs.