May 31, 2009
MUMBAI, India - The militant Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) denounces the brutal demolition of residents at Netaji Nagar, a 60-acre slum community situated near the vicinity of Eastern Express Highway on May 30 by Police personnel from Pant Nagar Police Station.
“Ten (10) women and seven (7) men were arrested by the Mumbai police while they suffered injuries during the lathe-charge (violence). The women were badly beaten and some of them even molested, including Dongrebai who was taken to the Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar,” said P. Chennaiah, deputy secretary general of APC and Secretary General of APVVU.
“All other women who went to visit them were arrested. Dongrebai, who is badly injured and had to be hospitalized was also arrested and brought back to the police station yesterday along with the other women, even without proper and complete treatment. Since yesterday morning, they have not been served even a cup of tea,” added P. Chennaiah.
Danilo Ramos, secretary general of APC and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pillipinas (KMP) said, “we strongly condemn that inhumane demolition undertaken by the Mumbai police victimizing women, children, infants and elders that have devastated their homes and lives. Most of their meager belongings were either crushed by the bulldozers or burnt along with the mangroves.”
“We sympathized with the victims because we felt how they feel during the bloody demolition in Mumbai. We were also demolished on May 22, 2009 during our 40-day peaceful camped out in front of the House Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines while we are campaigning for the passage of House Bill 3059 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).
The APC said they will call on their members in Asia, to criticize such act and send letters to the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission to immediately release the detainees - 10 women and 7 men, many of them injured,.
The Municipal Corporation of Mumbai, along with the Public Works Department of government of Maharashtra is carrying on a demolition drive for the past few days and has bulldozed the dwellings of these women and men, who are residents of the Netajinagar Basti at Ghatkopar. They have been residing there even prior to the cut-off date of January 1, 1995. There are 250 kutcha houses demolished and their belongings were burned. The eviction were carried out using brutal police force and lathi charge, without the residents being given any eviction notice nor was any demolition plan prepared.
“We call on the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission to urgently intervene in this case and conduct an urgent investigation into the entire incident; to safeguard the rights of these women and men, besides providing the injured and detained women full medical treatment at the cost of the State; appropriate compensation for violation of human rights, immediate withdrawal of the cases filed against them and initiate a necessary action against those police officials who were responsible for and participated in the lathi charge,” ended P, Chennaiah. ##
Danilo Ramos, APC Secretary General
Phone number: +632-3793083
P. Chenaaiah, APC Deputy Secretary General