|Massive rally in Delhi against dams|
NEW DELHI, Nov 24 – The agitation by Sangarsh against dams has become a rallying platform for State’s opposition, with AGP, BJP and AUDF pledging their support against construction of mega hydro power projects.
In a massive show of strength on the last day of the ‘national action against displacement and land acquisition’, activists of Sangarsh including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Narmada Bachao Andolan, National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM) braving winter rains undertook a march to the Parliament before being stopped by the police. The agitators raising slogans and displaying placards sought to cross over the police barricade, but were restrained.
An impromptu meeting was held at the spot in front of the Parliament Street which was addressed by a number of leaders including Medha Patkar, Akhil Gogoi among others.
The KMSS, meanwhile, suffered a setback, when one of the delegates Deepak Tanti (40) of Viswanath Chariali died at a local hospital. He was admitted into the RML Hospital with severe diarrhoea. Though he was released after initial treatment, he had to be readmitted to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital last evening after his condition deteriorated. He passed away this morning. His body would be flown to Guwahati tomorrow.
Meanwhile, State’s MPs belonging to the Opposition parties made a beeline to Jantar Mantar to extend their support to the agitation. Today, AGP MPs Biren Baishya, Kumar Deepak Das and Joseph Toppo, besides AUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal made an appearance at the rally in show of solidarity. Yesterday, a delegation of BJP MPs, led by Bijoya Chakravarty joined the agitators at the venue of the rally.
Addressing the rally, Baishya extended support to the agitation stating that the regional party would support the cause in and outside the Parliament.
Toppo told the rally that Government of India was not aware of the developments taking place in China and is yet to gauge the adverse impact of the dams in downstream areas.
Kumar Deepak Das said this was the beginning of the struggle and that the Regional party would cooperate with the agitators on the issue. He further alleged that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was not serious about issue of big dams.
Earlier, addressing the rally, Ajmal said that all the problems arising out of the existing dams should be resolved and construction of all dams should be stopped.
Earlier, Akhil Gogoi addressing the rally promptly declared Deepak Tanti as the first martyr of the anti-dam movement and pledged that his ‘blood would not go waste’.
Joining issue, Patkar said that they have not come to beg before the Central Government, asserting that they would not give away their land. She further alleged that the Government has become fugitive of the rich industrialists.