Apr 25: Nonadanga gets national focus

April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012

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http://www.thestatesman.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=407790&catid=42

Nonadanga gets national focus

24 April 2012

KOLKATA, 24 APRIL: Controversy surrounding Nonadanga has attracted the attention of national activist groups, and a pamphlet in support of the anti-eviction movement is being distributed in colleges, slums and industrial areas in Delhi.

Representatives from around 20 organisations ~ including the All India Federation of Trade Unions, the All India Students Association, the Peoples’ Democratic Front of India and Delhi-based land rights campaigners Posco Pratirodh Solidarity ~ held a Press conference in Delhi yesterday in which they discussed similar processes of slum eviction across India. They expressed solidarity with the Nonadanga anti-eviction movement and what they consider to be state repression in West Bengal. Twenty groups signed the pamphlet, which was published yesterday. The pamphlet demands “immediate and unconditional release of all the activists arrested on 8 April” and the dropping of “all charges on Debolina Chakraborty.” It reads, “The right to housing and rehabilitation of the slum-dwellers and hawkers in Nonadanga must be immediately ensured in a fair and just manner so that that their labour-power is not further devalued.”

A spokesperson from Sanhati magazine, whose website published the pamphlet’s content, said: “Delhi groups have been interested in Nonadanga since the beginning of the movement. There have already been three demonstrations there in support of the evictees. The slum dwellers’ movement is very strong in Delhi.”

Mr Niyan Jyoti, a spokesperson from Krantikari Naujawan Sabha who also signed the pamphlet, said: “The pamphlet is being distributed primarily in the slums and industrial areas, and also in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia and Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD).” Mr Jyoti told The Statesman that his group has been aware of the situation in Nonadanga since the KMDA demolition began on 30 March. “This should be a national issue,” he said. “The question of slum demolition is relevant across India.” Mr Jyoti said, “The West Bengal government’s suppression of protesters should also be given national attention.” A demonstration will be held tomorrow morning in Delhi in support of the Nonadanga anti-eviction movement, and there will be a rally in Kolkata from Ruby Hospital to Nonadanga tomorrow afternoon. sns