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NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS (GHAR BACHAO GHAR BANAO ANDOLAN)
A Wing First Floor, Haji Habi Building, Naigaon Cross Road
Dadar (E), Mumbai-400 014 Ph. No-2415 0529 E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com

May 20th, 2010

SOCIAL ACTIVIST & ACTRESS SHABANA AZMI VISITS SATHE NAGAR DHARNASTHAL:
SUPPORTS DEMANDS OF SLUM DWELLERS: EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY

MUMBAI’S POOR MARCH TO HIRANANDANI GARDENS: EXPOSE REAL ENCROACHERS

As the indefatigable Satyagraha of thousands of Mumbai’s slum-dwellers,
including dalits, labourers and urban poor women & men entered its eighth day
today, their Andolan for justice received immense support from acclaimed
Parliamentarian, social activist and actress Shabana Azmi. It is know that the
residents of Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar have been on an indefinite peaceful mass
action for past 8 days now, protesting the illegal and inhuman demolition and
burning down of more than 500 hutments by the Government of Maharashtra and
have been joined in solidarity by their fellow brethren from Rafiqnagar, Jai
Ambe Nagar, Mandala and other bastis, challenging the amplifying
corporate-builder-politician nexus in the state.

Congratulating the people on their resilience in the face of state-sponsored
adversity, Shabana Azmi emphasized that is due to the sweat more than 60 lakh
people who stay in slums, that a ‘happening city’ like Mumbai functions and
without their labour it cannot work and ‘grow’ even for a day. It is utter
nonsense and the height of insensitivity to allege that people who slog day and
night can burn their own houses, she said. Ms. Azmi added that the land on
which Anna Bahu Sathe Nagar stands is the Collector’s land which means it is
Public land and thus the people, who have no other alternative, have every
right to stay on it. Connecting with the women and children from the numerous
bastis, assembled and staying put despite the hostility of the State and the
summer heat, Shabaniji said “all you women and children who keep the struggle
for justice alive and take it ahead are my real source of inspiration and now
this struggle is not only yours but also mine”.

Senior architect Shri P.K. Dass also visited the dharnasthal today and
expressed gave out his heartfelt support to the slum dwellers. He felt that it
is incomprehensible for the State not to make positive attempts to redress the
grievances of the people on whose ‘human-resource the city and state
functions.
The slum-dwellers, though keen on the meeting that is to be held tomorrow with
concerned Ministers and officials of the Maharashtra Government, are also
proactively using all form of peaceful sataygraha to highlight the innumerable
injustices in today’s urban set-up and everything that passes off in the garb
of ‘development and renewal’. This pro-activeness forced the local Member
of Parliament to submit a public apology and the people to challenge corporate
builders like Hiranandani, once again, today.

———————————————————————-

PEOPLE MARCH TO HIRANDADNI GARDENS: CHALLENGE ILLEGAL ENCROACHMENT

COMPLAINT FILED WITH POWAI POLICE STATION TO FILE FIR FOR CHEATING, DISHONESTY
AND BREACH OF TRUST AGAINST SHRI NIRANJANA HIRANANDANI

GOONS OF HIRANANDANI BUILDER UNSUCCESSFULLY ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT THE RALLY

Today afternoon, representatives of the hundreds of slum dwellers from all over
Mumbai marched to the plush albeit illegal Hiranandani Gardens at Powai which
is spread across 300 acres of land that was doled out to the builder at the
rate of 40 paisa per acre for the original purpose of ‘affordable housing’!
But what followed was a story of blatant violations and illegalities, as
everyone in Mumbai knows.

Challenging the height of hypocrisy of the State Government and the Chief
Minister who had justified the demolition of Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar, people
questioned, ‘if the CM thinks that the illegal construction of slums (since
people have no alternative) could not be tolerated, how then, being the head of
the State, he can tolerate the illegality of Hiranandanis and Atrias and not
take any action against them??!!”

It is worth mentioning that after the exposure of the Hiranandani scandal, the
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had recommended
imposition of a fine of Rs 2000 crores, which Urban Development Department ,
headed by the Chief Minister brought down to Rs 200 crores, obviously
sacrificing law and justice at the altar of political vested interests.  Slum
dwellers have fiercely questioned the same and demanded an explanation.

Sitting outside the Corporate Office of Hiranandani Developers today afternoon,
Nasreen Bano of Mandala lamented the fact that while the Government of
Maharashtra was kind enough to give 300 acres of land to Hiranandani at the
rate of 40 paisa per acre, it is adamantly reluctant to give 50 acres of land
at Mandala at 100 times more the price, which the poor are ready to pay!

Slum dwellers from Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar and Mulund were also joined in by the
tribals from the nearby Aarey Colony today, who, in spite of living there for
generations, are being declared as ‘encroachers’ now.

Exposing and condemning the prevailing unholy nexus amongst the
builders-bureaucrats-political-financial institutions in the state, people
asserted that they shall not relent in their struggle until the real
encroachers are exposed, brought to book and the poor are guaranteed their
constitutional and human rights.

Ladenge…..Jeetenge

Susheela Patel   Medha Patkar      Nasreen Bano     Ranjana Dixit    Parul
Sethi

Contact Nos: 09423965153 / 09969363065 / 09820619174

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