Saturday, July 21, 2007
Women Farmers Lead Indefinite fast against Reliance Mahamumbai SEZ
The indefinite fast undertaken by 17 farmers and activists from 24 villages in Pen Tehsil of Raigad District in Maharashtra entered the second day today. The fast is in protest against the continuing land acquisition by the Reliance group for their 10,000-hectare-plus Mumbai SEZ.
The protest fast has been undertaken to demand withdrawal of Notification section 6 pertaining to land acquisition for SEZ projects which has not happened in spite of Maharashtra Chief Minister's public statements to this effect.
Although the Chief Minister had made a statement on the floor of the House that no 'forced acquisition' would take place in the state for SEZ projects, the notification permitting the land acquisition has not been withdrawn.
Women farmers and activists are on the forefront of the struggle and more than 50% of those sitting on the fast are women at the Tehsil headquarters in Pen.
Local Officials who met the farmers today spoke to activists Anant Patil and Ulka Mahajan who have demanded suspension of the corrupt Talati instrumental in fake sale deals for the SEZ. Activists also informed the official that top level Reliance officials in cohort with local agents have been involved in fake land acquisition.
Supports and solidarity groups are flooding the struggle site since morning from Mumbai, Pune and other areas. Datta Iswalkar From Giringoan Kamgar Sanghatana, Gjanan Khatu from People's Political front, Prabhakar Narkar and Ramakant Patil from Janta Dal also visited the site and sat on dharna with the farmers almost the whole day today in support of the demands made by the farmers.
· Stop forced acquisition and withdraw the section 6 notification immediately as assured on the state legislature floor by the Chief Minister.
· Declare the fraudulent land deals done by local agents on behalf of Reliance group illegal.
· Public declaration by Collector listing land deals pertaining to SEZ
· Exclude 22 villages, of Pen, Raigad, and Maharashtra from the Mahamumbai SEZ.
· Due to the polluted acidic water seeping in the farms by IPCL of Reliance Industries, Patalganga, the harvest has been totally destroyed. We demand just investigation in the pollution issue, and the farmers must be compensated for their loss for the paddy crop.
Anant Patil , Surekha Dalvi
(24 Gaon Sangharsh Samiti)
Contact: Surekha Dalavi : 9821140104 Mumbainapm@gmail.com ,