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Asunto:India: Pescadores y agricultores se oponen a proyecto portuario de Natelco-Uncol Ltd
Fecha:Jueves, 4 de Mayo, 2000  07:45:20 (-0400)
Autor:Jorge Hinestroza <vitae @.....net>

SOLIDARIDAD CON LOS PESCADORES Y AGRICULTORES DE GUJARAT (INDIA)

La lucha pacífica ha recibido la violencia oficial como respuesta.
Se hace un llamado a la solidaridad internacional con la lucha para
preservar los ecosistemas de la bella costa de
Gujarat afectados por el proyecto portuario de Natelco-Uncol Ltd.


Torturado y asesinado ex-capitan del ejécito Mr. Pratap Save, lider de
Comité para el Rescate de la Costa, quien se habia unido a las protestas de
las empobrecidas poblaciones pesqueras y agrícolas de Gujarat, contra las
amenazas de un gran proyecto portuario perjudicial a la pesqueria y la
agricultura por los dañinos efectos ecológicos que conlleva.
Estas comunidades llevan mas de un año ejerciendo una tenaz resistencia
contra este gran complejo portuario que amenaza la región costera de
Umergaon. El proyecto esta bajo la responsabilidad de las compañías
transnacionales Natelco-Uncol Ltd.

La lucha recibe el apoyo de la Alianza National del Movimiento Popular
(NAPM), Narmada Bachao Andolan, Shoshit Jan Andolan, Kashtakari Sangatana,
Samajwadi Jan Parishad, el Foro Nacional de Pescadores, Paryavaran
Samrakshana Samiti, Gorai Bachao Samiti y la organización Greenpeace de la
India.
Esta zona de la India es especialmente recordada por los salineros
artesanales y comerciantes locales quienes desarrollaron una tenaz lucha que
culminó con la expulsión de la empresa privada transnacional norteamericana
Cargill Salt que pretendía
arrollar la industria salinera tradicional de Gujarat en Kandla Port.

Envía:
Jorge Hinestroza
Federación Ecologista del Zulia.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------

> Dear friends,
>
> I am sending for your information email sent by Moses Mazgaonkar. He has
> been involved in environmental protection work and Sarvodaya movement of
> Gujarat.
>
> You might be aware that there are lots of things happening in our country
> which harm the interests of the poor, the fisherfolk, the labourers,
mining
> pollution etc., to name the few.
>
> Some weeks back, an ex-army Captain Mr. Pratap Save who has joined with
the
> poor and tribals of Gujarat in opposing the big Port that is being
> constructed with the contract of construction given to foreign companies,
> was beatten up, (it is being said that the police with orders from top,
> bashed his head against the wall!!), went into coma, and never recovered.
> It is a great loss to the country of an honest man, who fought for his
> country and then being killed by the police of his own country. (something
> of this sort, was the headlines in the Indian Press) His family is now in
a
> state of shock. And people in the surrounding villages are very scared
that
> the police will go to any extent to see that the foreign companies build
> this Port and obstruct the quiet and peaceful surroundings of the villages
> where for generations, the fisherfolk lived with their fishing activities
> on a local scale.
>
> The following mail reports briefly on what happened when people from
> Maharashtra and Gujarat gathered at Umargaon and went to the police
station
> to register the complaint, and met the people and family of Capt. Save.
>
> Daniel.
>
>  >Dear Papa and Mummy
>  >
>  >I travelled with Medha and Joe to Umargam from Baroda yesterday and were
> joined by Sanjay, Parveen and a lot of others. We went to Col. Save's
> residence offered condolences and spoke to villagers. Then about 1000 of
us
> marched to file an FIR on the beatings at the police station. Because of
> our number police quietly took down the complaints. It was a very good
show
> of strength and determination -something of the utmost importance when
> Govt./Police are trying to scare people. I was in Umargam until 9 pm and
> then reached Rajpipla this morning. You should know but not worry that we
> must now be marked by authorities here because we have been puncturing a
> lot of Govt. intentions over the whole of last week-first when the Supreme
> Court committee came and now on the port issue. I have been prominently
> quoted on the first page of Indian Express-A'bad edition- along with Medha
> and Sanjay.
>  >
>  >I want to you to find out if Kantisen Shroff is in Bombay. He had
declared
> support on the port issue. I want to sound him out on signing a joint
> statement with Chunibhai Vaid and others denouncing Govt./police action
and
> Save's death and asking for action against officers responsible for the
> death. Please let me know if he will sign the statement. You need not ask
> him directly. We need to test him on this. So you may let Narottambhai do
> the asking. If he is willing I will send him a draft. Also let me have
from
> yourself and from Kantibhai names of other prominent people who would be
> willing to sign. This is URGENT but will take us 2-3 days to process.
>  >
>  >Anand
>  >>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>  >Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti
>  >37/1 Narayan Nagar
>  >Chandni Chowk
>  >Rajpipla 393 145
>  >Phone: 02640-20629
>  >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>  >
> National Alliance of People's Movements
> National Office: c/o Chemical Mazdoor Sabha, Haji Habib Building,
> A' wing, First Floor, Naigoan Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai 400 014
> Tel: 022-4150529 (O) 022-5369724 (Res.-Sanjay MG)
> Email: <admin@...>
>
> ----------------
> Press Note - 23.4.2000
>
> People's Movements Support the Umargaon Struggle
> Thousands Compel Police to Register FIRs on Beatings, Molestation of Women
>
>
> The fishworkers and farmers of Umergaon and the nearby coastal villages in
> Valsad district, Gujarat - belonging to Kinara Bachao Andolan and the
> Umergaon Bander Hatao Sangharsh Samiti - facing a critical time with the
> repressive State, received support from various organisations including
the
> National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), Narmada Bachao Andolan,
> Shoshit Jan Andolan, Kashtakari Sangatana, Samajwadi Jan Parishad,
National
> Fishworkers Forum, Paryavaran Samrakshana Samiti, Gorai Bachao Samiti and
> Greenpeace - India. Fisherwomen and men having lost their leader, Col.
> (Retd) Pratap Save in the brutal attack by the police and felt courageous
> with revived strength to continue their struggle against the privatised
> port and save the coastal region. Representatives coming from Baroda and
> Ankleshwar within Gujarat, Mumbai, thane, Raigrah and other parts of
> Maharashtra to express solidarity with the peaceful mass movement through
> which have raised critical issues of right to information and right to
life
> and livelihood.
>
> The people are opposing the Rs 12000 crore port project given to the
> consoritum Natelco-Uncol Ltd a muti-national consortium, along the
> picturesque coastal town of Umergaon in Gujarat.
>
> "We all are fighting for just and sustainable development. The State now
> functioning in support of the companies - national and multinational is in
> a mad rush to exploit our nature, making the people, esp. the poor pay,
> must be confronted. While they try and kill the patriot like Col.Save they
> can't finish off the spirit, the equitable perspective as also our
> alliance-strength", Anand Mazgaonkar, Medha Patkar and other experienced
> activists asserted unanimously.
>
> Paying condolences to the bereaved family of Col.Save, including his 80+
> years old freedom fighter father was the purpose of this meeting. It
> however, got converted into a mass-action since hundreds of women and men
> gathered from their villages to seek a way out of the deadlock and fear.
It
> worked like a miracle. They all in peaceful procession, marched to the
> police station. The officials who had initially refused to accept even the
> First Information Reports from the agitators facing brutality, finally
> accepted the Reports, allowing a new phase to start.
>
> People's wrath and commitment was obvious from the fact of their staying
> put till 9 pm. When a few shaken by the experience yet unmoved women
> agitators lodged complaints of lathicharge, molestation by male police on
> April 7th. The shaking information was that this action was at the very
> site in the open ground before the police station when the Colonel was
> beaten to unconscious. The police officials including Mr.Hasmukh Patel,
> DySP, one of the alleged, had to respect people's power and file the FIRs
> duly. Abhaben and Arunaben were amongst those who not only expressed their
> protest but pledged to teach the govt. "We are self-reliant strong
> community of fishworkers. We know how to fight the fury of the sea and the
> state both. It's our duty to bring the dream of Col.Save true", they burst
> when they also sang the praise of human power.
>
> The tribal MP from Nasik, Shri.Haribhavu Mahale visited Umbergaon to pay
> his tributes to the departed comrade.
>
> Col Pratap Save (56 years), the leader of the Kinara Bachao Samiti (save
> coast committee), whose father, Mr Bhaskar Save (90 years) is a veteran
> freedom fighter, mobilised the masses, particularly the fishing community
> and the farmers against the proposed project. According to Mr Sagar
Machhi,
> the secretary of the committee, the project would destroy the fishing
> community as well the agriculturists in the ecologically fragile zone. The
> seven villages which will be affected by the proposed port had passed
> resolutions in the village panchayats opposing the port. Besides, most of
> the villages in the Umergaon tehsil including the taluk panchayat have
also
> asked the Gujarat government to scrap the project.
>
> Although the agitation is going on for last 15 months, the police cracked
> down on the villagers on April 8, when all the office bearers of the
Kinara
> Bachao Sangharash Samiti and the Umergaon Bander Hatao Sangharsh Samiti
> were arrested. Col Save was picked up from his house in the midnight and
> according to his wife, Ms Sunita Save, he was in a drowsy state when
> produced before the magistrate. He was tortured by the senior police
> officer, according to the villagers who were rounded up on the same day.
On
> the same night he was admitted to the local hospital which directed the
> police to took him to Mumbai for the lack of medical facilities.
>
> A written complaint by Smt.Sunita Save, the widow of late Col.Save under
> section 302 was also filed through the leaders of the organisation.
>
> It is in this context that NAPM supports the local leadership and
empowered
> mass movement of the people in Umargaon region. The inhuman and
> undemocratic act of the Govt.of Gujarat needs the strongest condemnation.
> The multinational company involved in the Nargol port that is protested is
> UNICAL known for it corrupt and illegal practices and violations of human
> rights and environmental laws. It was tried before the people's tribunal
in
> Seattle (USA) for the same reason. Privatisation of the port is for profit
> of the corporate sector and benefit of the development-dreaming
> politicians, not for people. The project that will affect thousands of
> fishworkers and farmers, the beautiful and bountiful coastal and acquatic
> resources can't be agreed to as no 'public purpose', economic and social
> justifiability and economic viability is established by the planners.
Force
> and fraud can't bring in development and hence no such anti-people plan be
> supported. NAPM and other co-organisations have decided to approach the
> NHRC against the human rights violations involved in the events on April
> 7th but also in the project plan itself, help in every legal proceeding
> related t the matter and support the local struggle of national and
> international relevance in mass-actions and strategic moves at all fronts
> to save the brave strugglers, obliged by the great sacrifice of Col.Save.
>
> Sanjay Sangvai
> ==========<medhapatkar@...>==========
>
>