Kolkata – September 14 Mass Convention demanding an end to pollution caused by sponge iron units in West Bengal

September 12, 2010

And to protest against the harassments of activists of environmental movements 

Click here to read the bengali leaflet for the convention

Over a hundred sponge iron units in the districts of West Midnapur, Bankura, Bardhaman and Purulia which are devastating the life and livelihood of local inhabitants are being given patronage by a section of the State in an unprecedented scale. We have already informed you that even while the Court was being taken for a ride, the law was being broken with impunity.

Grassroot level resistance increased as the victims refused to take things lying down. You might also recall that on 16 December 2009 a number of individuals, organisations, initiatives (including Nagarik Mancha) and representatives of the victims, had organised a day-long sit-in-demonstration in front of WBPCB office at Salt Lake.

Such a consistent campaign against sponge iron units was unacceptable to a section of the owners who with connivance of a section of the local administration got Upangshu Mahato and Hemanto Mahato of the ‘Paribesh Dushon Birodhi Pratirodh Committee’ (Committee to Resist Environmental Pollution) resisting environmental pollution caused by three sponge iron units located near Jhargram, West Midnapur on trumped up charges. Unable to contain the spread of the campaign against sponge iron units the same caucus of the owners and local administration had arrested Naba Dutta, General Secretary of Nagarik Mancha on 17 August 2010 on trumped up charges which includes sedition/conspiracy, rioting, waging war, collecting arms for waging war, attempt to murder and so on. However he was granted interim bail on the next day and the said bail was confirmed on 6 September 2010.

In this regard need for collective action, involving environmental activists, peoples’ science activists, social activists, civil society representatives along with the victims, has been felt. To demand for withdrawal of false police charges against initiators and activists of environmental movements, a Mass Convention is being organised collectively at the Moulali Jubo Kendra at 3pm on Tuesday, 14 September 2010.

I, on behalf of Nagarik Mancha, which is one of the many initiatives organising this Convention, would like you to register your protest on that day.
Kindly communicate this to all individuals, organizations and initiatives who might be interested.
In solidarity,
Subhendu Dasgupta
President, Nagarik Mancha