Gujarat Government cracks down on right to freedom of expression

November 7, 2013


Justice KG Balakrishnan,
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
New Delhi
Dear Sir,
Date: 31 October 2013, 6.30 a.m.

Gujarat Government cracks down on right to freedom of expression.
· Activist and villagers detained and house arrests in wee hours of the 31st morning.
· Gujarat Government says tribals and activists do not speak up when CM is around or go to jail, at Kevadia.

On 30 October 2013, 4 activists, Rohit Prajapati, Trupti Shah, Amrish Brahmbhatta, Sudhir Biniwale, were put under house arrest by Rajpipla police even before they had reached venue.

They were followed by police vehicles right form Devalia chokadi when they were travailing from Vadodara to Rajpipla. When they reached the place in Rajpipla there are as standing guards out side the place as if they are criminals. No policemen talked with them why they are doing so, what are the charges against them.

Meanwhile our activists and villagers from more than 7 villages are being detained from their homes by the police, again without pressing any formal charges. At midnight our activist Lakhan Musafir, Dhirendra Soneji, Dipen Desai, Rameshbhai Tadvi from Indravarna village, Shaileshbai Tadvi form Vagadia village, Vikrambhai Tadvi and 2 others form Kevadia and other villagers were detained illegally to create atmosphere of terror among villages to prevent planned well-announced peaceful hunger strike in villages.

As we are writing this at 6 a.m. on 31st morning so far we know at least 10 people from 5 villages are detained and taken to various police stations.

We fear further more police action shortly. This press release is to communicate that we activist and villagers had only announced symbolic protest in our own houses by staging day long hunger strike. Note, we were not to assemble at any public place or sit on dharana at any public place. The sit on protest in our own home is aimed at protecting our land, forest, livelihood, river, (jan ,jangal jamin, nadi, janavar). Only because the Gujarat chief minister Mr. Narendra Modi is schedule to preside the program for his plans for what he called the world’s largest statue, ‘The statue of Unity’. We had been denied the fundamental right to express our rights even in our own home. The statue of unity comes at what cost whose cost?

Rohit Prajapati Swati Desai
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti
For More detail Rohit Prajapati © 9426977940, Trupti Shah © 9427937162, Dipen Desai © 9427922046