National Alliance of People’s Movements and Action 2007
Jattha Update: Day 5,6
January 30th, 31st
• Nandigram-Narmada-Gorai Jattha 2008 Reached Rewa In Madhya Pradesh,
After Visiting Jharkhand And Chhattisgarh
• Overwhelming Response From People In Raigarh And Rewa, In Solidarity
With People From Other Movements
• People’s Movements Show Collective Strength To Fight Against
Anti-People Policies And State Repression
On the 31st morning, the 6th day of the Jattha, more than 35 activists from Nandigram, Singur, Bokaro, Ranchi, Delhi, U.P., A.P., Orissa, Raipur and other parts of India reached Satna, Madhya Pradesh after covering some areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Sunilbhai of Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Madhuribahen of Jagrut Dalit Adivasi Sangathan and many other senior activists joined the Jattha and proceeded to Rewa near JP cement factory, where not so long ago (Sep 2007), one youth named Rajendra Singh Patel, was killed and 30 others were injured including women, due to police firing. Their only ‘sin’ was to demand jobs since their land had been acquired for setting up the factory. Till today the marks of the injuries are there in these people’s bodies. The Kol adivasis were also injured in this firing. The Jattha met the activists of NFFPW there.
The Jattha joined the meeting in the Jirah Village where people shared the realities of their life and livelihood and their agitations, and heard the powerful struggle of Nandigram.
The Jattha came back to Rewa where a JP cement company affected people and senior activists from Vindhyachal Jan Andolan Samiti and many other organizations including React, organized a meeting of hundreds of people. The gathering was addressed by Sunilbhai, Madhuribahen, Sandhya Devi, Nandlalbhai and Medha Patkar, on behalf of the Jattha.
The people emphasized on strengthening the non-party politics of people’s movements and alternative to mainstream politics. They also promised to take this process forward with NAPM.
In the night there was meeting with about 25-30 representatives from various organizations, senior activists, veteran writers and intellectuals from the area who said that it was imperative to build a strong collective movement in the Vindhyachal area where large number of MOUs of National and Global industries and investments have been declared, and been signed.
In the night, the Jattha boarded the train to reach Khandwa to proceed towards Badwani and Narmada Valley. From here the Jattha will move to Pune and the concluding programme is at Gorai on 4th February, where a huge SEZ project in planned.
Earlier, on 30th January, the Jattha was meeting people in Raigarh, where a large group welcomed the Jattha. After having a meeting at Agarwal Bhawan the Jattha reached the Samadhi of Satyabhama to salute this adivasi women activist, who died in Raigarh, during the indefinite hunger strike against Jindal – notorious for polluting rivers, indiscriminate mining of iron at the cost of life and livelihood of adivasis and other people. The members of Jattha also met her family members. The Jattha members were informed that the corporate state was conspiring to remove the Samadhi of Satyabhama but the people were ready to fight and protect her Samadhi, which is a symbol of struggle where she gave her life to protect natural resources against the mining giants.
This being the 30th of January, the punyatithi of Gandhi, people visited the statue of Mahatma Gandhi to pay tribute to him and took resolution to challenge violence and to protest against any kind of violence.
Jattha then reached Gade Gaon in Kamnaar Tehsil of Raigarh where people are protesting against the mining by Jindal Company.
Ironically, a public hearing organized on Jan 4th 2008 for the mine-displaced people in the area was systematically sabotaged by the people hired by Jindal group, aided by the State government machinery. As soon as people started public hearing, the corporate aided goons who came in trucks attacked the people. On the contrary, the innocent people were implicated for this and not the ones who attacked. No FIR was filed by authorities against those who injured the people.
The collector cancelled the public hearing by giving the justification that situation was tense and not appropriate for the Public Hearing.
However, as soon as people went back to their respective villages, the Public Hearing started with wrong people who were brought by the company in trucks. As suspected, they obviously cleared the mining project of Jindal. People were cheated not only by the company but also by the authorities that are supposed to protect their rights. Indeed, the people are angry and determined to get this fake public hearing cancelled.
The Jattha met many people here and heard their stories of despair, destruction and the spirit to struggle against injustice. Many people offered to join the struggle for solidarity whenever there is a critical need.
Activists participating in the Jattha such as Sandhya Devi from Orissa, Radharani and Shaikh Sultan from Nandigram, Gautam Bandhopadhyay from Chhattishgarh, Romabahen from U.P., Medha Patkar from NBA, NAPM, Sri Janak Lal Thakur of CMM, representative of Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagruti Sangathan and the representative of people struggling against Chauranga Factory, addressed the gathering.
National Alliance of People’s Movements