Basti Surakshya Mancha – Press note on Bhubaneswar protest regarding the Nonadanga issue

April 17, 2012

A protest and burning of an effigy of Mamata Banarjee organized by Basti Surakshya Mancha constituent of the All-India Coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People occurred at Lower PMG Square in Bhubaneswar today. The protest was organised in opposition to the eviction of Nonadonga slums, the inhuman attacks on the protesters and people who inhabited the slums, and the arrest of the seven activists.

Bhubaneswar (17/04/12)

Mamata Banarjee’s government, which came to power in West Bengal delivering slogans of ‘maa, mati aur manush’ demolished the Nonadanga slum with an extreme inhuman attitude. On one side, just like the Naveen Pattnaik Government here, which has announced JNNURM’s BSUP programme and Rajiv Avas programme, on the other side has been demolishing slums. It has not provided any houses to people while benefiting from such empty promises made through the above programs. This shows the real picture of what the Central and State Governments are. Protesters against the injustice at Nonadanga incident, which included women and children, were brutally treated and severely injured by the lathi charge of WB Police. Many were arrested. On 8th April 2012, APDR and other organizations held a mass rally against this action of the state against the democratic movement. This rally was attacked by goons of the government and 68 amongst the protesters were arrested. Again on the 9th, attacking another protest rally, 50 people were arrested. Many were released but seven were detained and have now been sent to jail.

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Against CPI(M)’s neo-liberal and anti-people policies, the slum dwellers along with the common people supported Mamata Banarjee. Ironically, it has not been six months since Mamata Banarjee’s rule that neo-libaral policies and anti-people policies in favour of Real Estate business, land mafia and in the name of beautification of the city, forceful slum demolition and an attack of the poor has started. It has been attacking any democratic movement or protest with the aid of police and goons. If there is no protest against Mamata Bamnarjee’s authoritarian rule throughout the country, it will become impossible for common people to survive.

In this context ‘Basti Suraksha Manch, Odisha’ and ‘All India coordination of slum dwellers and homeless people’ held a protest rally condemning Mamata Banarjee’s attack on peoples’ and democratic movements and demanding the compensation of those affected at Nonadanga, the release of all arrested, removal of all cases and stopping of all anti-democratic actions in front of the Orissa Legislative Assembly, Lower PMG. An effigy of Mamata Banarjee was burnt and more than a hundred people participated.

Taking part in the protest were : National coordinator of ‘All India coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People’, Comrade Sivaram; Human Rights’ activist and advocate, Biswapriya Kanungo; President of Basti Surakshya Mancha, Ramachandra Sahu; General Secretary of Basti Surakshya Mancha, Pramila Behera; President of Lokshakti Abhiyan, Prafulla Samantara; Sudipto Muhuri of Sanhati; Lenin Kumar, editor of Nissan; Youth Activist Satyabrata; BSM Leaders Santosh Das, Batakrushna Rout, Gopinath Nayak, and Prasanta Parida; T.U.C.I State President, Jayadev Nayak; Leader of CPI(M-L) Khurda District Committee, Comrade Bijaya Barik; Henarani Barik, Shanti Ray, Meena Bhoi, and Radharani Maharana of the All India Revolutionary Women’s Association (AIRWO); and others.

Sivaram, National Coordinator : All India Coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People
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