PEOPLE CONDEMN STATE-LED VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION AND DEMAND REPEAL OF AFSPA

PEOPLE CONDEMN STATE-LED VIOLENCE AND REPRESSION AND DEMAND REPEAL OF AFSPA

THE LIBERALISATION POLICIES OF GOVERNMENT ARE FURTHER MARGINALISING POOR,DALIT AND ADIVASI WOMEN

The final day of the People's Parliament culminated with the theme of Violence. The first session focused on Violence on Women and their
right to resources. The second session looked specifically at State Repression and Militarization. Kalyani from Jagori, Delhi moderated the session on 'Violence against Women' started by saying that women's issues and rights cannot be seen separately from all other rights. "The new economic policy and religious fanaticism has only strengthened patriarchy and made the life of women worse." Uma Chakravarty, Delhi, gave an overview of State Violence since the Delhi riots of 1984, the 2002 Gujarat carnage, the agitations against AFSPA in Manipur upto what is happening today in Kashmir. Gujarat was not only communal violence but it was also very patriarchal in its barbaric treatment towards women during riots. In state sponsored violence it is the women who are attacked. In Kashmir more than 8000 women are missing and there is no record of it. Meera and Kusum Karnik from Maharashtra, highlighted the status of adivasi women. "Large projects
and increasing industrialization has led to forced displacement of which women are the worst affected. They lose community co-operation and support and forced to survive in an alien society which is completely insensitive towards them" Sunita, National Dalit Forum, Hyderabad said that Dalit women face exploitation "four times that of other women", namely economic, cultural, religious and internal. Dalit women have to face the brunt of caste led violence, rape, molestation, harassment like in the Khairlanji case recently. "Our study of Telangana area shows that the highest rate of HIV/AIDS is among Jogini's who are Dalit women" The Indian Government's privatization policy has brought so much competitiveness in available job standards that they are difficult to meet by poor Dalit women or girls, who have no access to education. Dalit woman's rights over land was another major issue raised. Even today land titles are in the name of the men
in the family, hence, they control resources of the family. Hazira Bi, an activist and victim of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy spoke about the plight of women after the gas tragedy in 1984. "We have been demanding drinking water facility in affected area from past three decades but even after Supreme Court order of 2004 the Government failed to provided it".Last year the victims of Bhopal walked 100 km from Bhopal to Delhi with our demands are yet to be met. On March 5th this year they started a fast for their demands but were forced to end their protest and brutal police force was used to disrupt our movement. Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao activist Syeda Khatoon and Shanti Devi from Mankhurd, Mandala, Mumbai presented their experiences of police brutality in evicting slums of Mumbai. They said that after 2004 their lives have been on the roads, "our kids have become wanderers because they burnt our homes, demolished schools in our localities, they
are merciless and do not treat us like humans." Many of the womens have lost their children. If at all the Government thinks of compensation is of material loss but how can the life of children be compensated. Sandhya Devi from Kalahandi, Orissa castigated the devastating impact of mining projects on the lands culture of Adivasis. As it is the women, who sustain the community and are in the forefront of the struggle, they are also the ones who are targeted by the goons of the Vedanta Alumina company. She emphasized the need to defend Adivasis land rights and culture. Annie Raja of NFIW picked up from the moving presentations and shared how in the present budget the survival rights of women in agriculture and urban slums are not respected, while MNC'c and military expenses are privileged. She emphasized the need for protracted struggles to resist globalization policies and SEZ's. The first session 'women rights issues in the context of
liberlization, globalization and privatization' chaired by the national convener of NAPM Ms. D. Gabriele from TamilNadu. The afternoon session on State Repression and Militarization brought out issues from all over the country ranging from the state sponsored violence in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in the name of development and industrialization and the increasing militarization of regions like North East and Jammu and Kashmir. In North East and Kashmir, the Armed Forced Special Powers Act 1961 has provided unprecedented powers to the army to arrest on grounds of suspicion and without any repercussions. Erome Sharmila has been fasting for 7 years now with a demand for Repeal of the Act which has been used to torture people, molest and rape women and kill thousands of people. Tapan Bose, a human rights activist said in the last 20 years in Kashmir alone, at least 1 lakh people were killed and over 5000 missing. The region has over
5 lakh Army Jawans posted for a population of over 4 crore. Nandini Sunder, Professor Delhi School of Economics, spoke about the militarisation and divisiveness being created by the Congress and BJP governments in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, in the name of fighting Naxal forces. More than half of the Dantewada district of Bastar has been cleared out with more than 3000 families having been shifted out of their homes into refugee camps. "Thousands of people are migrating into neighboring regions because of this campaign called Salwa Judum which the government has initiated in the area.But there is no offical record of the number of people affected by Salwa Judum" Women and children have been the worst affected. Poorno, an activist from Kalahandi, Orissa spoke of the use of violence in Kashipur, Kalinganagar and Kalahandi from promotion of industrial projects of big companies. The adivasi communities residing in these areas for centuries are
being forcefully displaced and each time they have resisted the police and armed force has been used to repress the movement. The same is the case in Jharkhand. Examples of the struggles against the Netrahat field firing range and Koel karo Dam were given were people have had to fight unarmed to maintain their right to their lands and forests in the face of severe physical violence by the state. Several people over last few years have lost their lives. Yet over the past few years instances of state repression have only increased. "All the companies are eying or mineral resources and the state to earn revenue is not just selling out the resources to private companies but is also helping them by using force and violence to curb resistance" In the days to come, ACTION 2007 will continue the struggle on the streets of Jantar Mantar. Co-ordination Committee ACTION 2007

For Further Details Please Contact-9910354505 _______________________________________________________

Delhi Office: Action 2007, 1-A, Goela Lane, Under Hill Road Civil Lines, Delhi � 54 Tel.: 011-23933307 , Rajendra Ravi (0-9868200316 ), Vijayan MJ (0-9868165471 ) Mumbai Office: Action 2007, C/0 Chemical Mazdoor Sabha, 28-29, First Floor 'A wing' Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road , Dadar (East), Mumbai-400014, E-Mail: action2007@gmail.com Tel.: 022-24150529