Stop Harrassing Anti-Nuclear Activists: An Open Letter to Maharashtra Home Minister

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January 20, 2012

To,

The Home Minister,

Government of Maharashtra,

Subject: Appeal against the externment order issued to social activist Vaishali Patil in Jaitapur

Vaishali Patil, a prominent social activist who has been part of movements for justice, sustainability and equality in Maharashtra, including the struggle of local people against the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project, has once again been prevented from entering the Ratnagiri district .

The people’s movement in Jaitapur has raised serious questions regarding safety and economic rationales of the nuclear power park under construction and its potential impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the surrounding population. Instead of responding to these questions, the government through the local administration has resorted to draconian measures in the past, including imposing Section 144 and preventing reputed social figures like Justice PB Sawant and Justice Kolse Patil from entering Ratnagiri. Even as this repression by the administration was held illegal in the past by the court, the DySP of Lanja has issued externment order against Ms. Vaishali Patil under the provisions of the Mumbai Police Act 1951.

While the activists against the project are being repeatedly harassed, those disrupting the anti-nuclear meetings have been treated leniently by the same administration.

We strongly condemn and protest such repressive and selective measures to intimidate activists and suppress the peaceful democratic protests. Nuclear power plants have come under questions in every corner of the country where they are being constructed and the government must engage with people to reach to a solution.

We urge you to look into the matter at the earliest and ensure that issues raised by democratic and peaceful protests are resolved politically rather than meet such repression and high-handedness on part of the state.

Copies to:
Chief Minister, Maharashtra
Prime Minister of India
President of India
Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission

 

With best regards,

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), New Delhi
Indian social Action Forum
Sanghamitra and Surendra Gadekar, Sampoorna Kranti Vidyalaya (Gujarat)