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Indefinite Dharna against SEZs in Pen

* Villagers from Raigad dist. sit on indefinite dharna outside Pen Tehsil Office against wrongful issuance of Land Acquisition notices for Reliance SEZ.
* Corrupt nexus of local official and Reliance exposed! Will anybody take action?

The residents of 24 villages of the Pen Tehsil have started an indefinite dharna from 5th Feb, outside the Pen Tehsil office opposing and condemning the still continuing Land Acquisition for the Maha Mumbai SEZ. It is ironical that even after the assurance of the Chief Minister Shri Vials Rao Deshmukhji, to the activists and the affected villagers during their meeting on 12th Dec 2006, this illegal process of serving notices is continuing.

The actions of the local authorities is also in the violation of the decision and order of the

Group of Empowered Ministers on SEZ on the non-acquisition of land for the non-notified SEZ. Till date the Maha Mumabi SEZ has not been notified and has only been issued In-Principle Approval, thus as per the SEZ Act and Rules 2006 the land cannot be acquired.

After the issuance of section 4 notices(under Land Acquisition Act) to the residents of these villages, the residents as well as Gram Panchayats had submitted objections to the competent authorities. While the hearings were going on, on these objections the latest move of the land acquisition is violation of the procedure to be followed for land acquisition clearly defined and spelt out in the Land Acquisition Act. Objections to the proposal of the SEZ have also been raised by the state Irrigation Department.

It is condemnable that with all these violations of the law and legal procedures not followed, changes have been made in the 7/12 documents of the affected land. Also the Green Zone Reservation still stands and has not been modified.

All these illegalities and violations point toward the corrupt nexus of the bureaucrats and the developer i.e Reliance who are all out to grab the land from the residing, self sufficient villagers including Dalits and women.

The affected people have decided to sit on indefinite dharna till their demand of following the established procedures and law is not accepted and the illegal notices issued are cancelled/withdrawn. Till then the struggle for their democratic and human rights will continue.

Ulka Mahajan Govardhan Patil

( 9869232478) (9422689597)

24 Villages SEZ Sangharsh Samiti