National Alliance Of People's Movements
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Press Release


Medha Patkar along with other veteran Gandhian activists arrested in Kolkatta
NAPM strongly condemns such high handedness of the police under the pressure of the West Bengal Government
The NAPM is concerned that the pro- people government of West Bengal should resort to such repressive means, betraying the poor and the marginalized.
NAPM once again recognizes the resistance of the local people of Singur whose struggle has been independent of any political party

Today, Medha Patkar and other veteran Gandhian leaders were arrested in Kolkata. The police were not allowing them to visit Singur. But even peaceful protests in the city of Kolkata, miles away from Singur, have been snuffed out through these arrests. The high handedness exhibited by the government is ominous for the country as the government of the poor resorts to state repression. Moreover, it raises serious questions about the right to protest in a democracy. It is ironical that the same party has joined hands for similar causes elsewhere in the country like the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Kalinga Nagar massacres and the Gurgaon protests. The marginalized and poor people of the country now feel betrayed. In contrast there has been unprecedented support coming from the right. However, in the midst of all this political posturing, one must not forget that the Singur struggle is a genuine resistance put forth by the people of Singur and it runs on the steam of its spirited people. For a year now it has been an independent struggle.

The West Bengal government is acquiring land in Singur for the Tatas to set up their automobile factory. Singur's people depend on their fertile and well- irrigated land for their livelihood either directly or indirectly. They practice multi- cropping and always receive a good crop. The wonders that the Tata company may do for the economy is, at best, speculative.

The NAPM condemns the high handedness of the government of West Bengal. We express our concern as the last bastion of the poor in India turns pro- business. As they have been our allies in similar struggles in other parts of India, we are sure that the government will listen to reason and refrain from such police brutality.

Parvin Jehangir Sanjay Mango Simpreet Singh Ulka Mahajan Medha Patkar