Press Conference on June 3: All-India Fact-finding Committee Findings on Demolition of Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada on May 17
The EditorMadam/Sir,The Committee for the release of Dr. Binayak Sen, Mumbai has arranged a press conference on the vindictive and arbitrary demolition of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada by the state government of Chhattisgarh on May 17 last.The conference would be addressed by two members of the six-member all-India fact-finding team who had visited the site from May 29 to 31.A short film on the demolished site would also be screened.You are therefore requested to send your reporter and/or photographer to cover the event.
For further details, pleas refer below:
The BJP government of Chhattisgarh is in the news again. On May 17, it demolished the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada, run by noted Gandhian Himanshu Kumar. The ashram has been a part of the villagers' lives, providing medical help, running water
conservation programmes. Kumar had been trying to resettle the Adivasis who had been displaced by the Salwa Judum, the government-backed vigilante movement that arms
ordinary people to counter the Naxalites. Thousands of Adivasis have been forced to leave their villages by the Salwa Judum, and the Supreme Court has termed the movement illegal.
Like the arrest and detention of Dr Binayak Sen, the demolition of the Ashram is also part of Raman Singh's mission to silence anyone who comes in the way of his grand plan of handing over the Adivasis' land to industrialists. This time, the excuse for the demolotion was that the Ashram had encroached on government land. However, the matter is sub judice.
An All India Fact- Finding team headed by Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey including President Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha ( CMM), former MLA-Janak Lal Thakur, Dalli- Rajhara, Senior Journalist Editor Mainstream- Sumit Chakravartty, New Delhi, Women Rights Activist- Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai, Editor Combat Law- Dr Harsh Dobhal, New Delhi and PUCL Chattisgarh- Vijendra – Raipur visited the ashram. They also presented a Memorandum based on their findings to the Governor of Chhattisgarh .They will be addressing the media on their findings. A 12 minute video shot at the demolition site with Himanshu will also be shown .
Such events get hardly any mention in the national media; if at all they do, thanks to Raman Singh's hold over the local media, only the official version gets published. The rest of the country needs to know what is happening in Chhattisgarh under the garb of fighting Naxalites and development.
Date: 3rd June 2009, Wednesday
Time: 3. 00 PM
Venue: Press Club (next to Azad Maidan)
Speakers: Sandeep Pandey and Kamayani Bali- Mahabal
For more information contact: 9820749204