The National Alliance of People’s Movement has expressed solidarity with the peaceful struggle of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti against the construction of dams in the northeastern region .
NAPM has also condemned the repressive measures adopted by Assam government on KMSS chief Akhil Gogoi and activists, including women and children.
Gogoi is on a hunger strike in Guwahati demanding that the Assam government stop construction of all mega-dams in the northeast, stop action against anti-dam activists, and unconditionally release 27 activists detained May 11 from Ghagar in Lakhimpur district.
Here is the full statement of NAPM:
We are aware that the victory of the same government means difficult times ahead for people\\\’s movements but we will continue to challenge the ineptness and corruption in the governance and fight for communities control of natural resources and their means of livelihood. We do hope the new dispensation will use this opportunity to put its house in order and effectively work on the issues raised by the movements for true development of people of Assam.
The current government completed a year on May 18th amidst much fan fare but unfortunate it is our words seems to be coming true. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, an affiliate of NAPM, has been at the receiving end of the police atrocities from time to time. KMSS, a mass organisation with support base in urban and rural areas both led by Akhil Gogoi has been at the forefront of the struggle for people\\\’s democratic rights and a people-centred development model. They have exposed corruption at every level of governance and emphasised for the better utilisation of the public resources, for which they have constantly faced government\\\’s ire. Attack on the KMSS cadres is nothing new it seems on March 29th 2010, when they had gone to submit a memorandum on the issues of mega dams, PDS anomalies and NREGA implementation at Dhemaji District Commissioner\\\’s office they were tear-gassed, lathi charged and arrested; in June 2011, Akhil Gogoi was arrested by the government; in December 2011 they were attacked many times when KMSS and others led seize to the highway and stopped trucks to the Lower Subansiri Dams; earlier they have been labelled as Maoists and Chinese supported and so on.
Inspite of all the opposition from the state machinery and oppression from security forces KMSS has carried the struggle against corporate driven, anti people development and corrupt practices of the Assam government. It is extremely unfortunate that our letters of appeal and condemnation in past to the Assam Government against the attack on non-violent people\\\’s movements seems to have no impact.
On May 11, the government unleashed attack on KMSS activists who were demonstrating peacefully at Ghagar in Lakhimpur district by blockading transportation of goods to Lower Subansiri Hydro-Electric Project site. The blockade was forcefully removed and all efforts are being made to carry goods to project site by the state government. As of now there is complete regime of \\\’terror\\\’ in the district of Lakhimpur.
30 KMSS activists had been arrested and sent to jail for either supporting the movement and being part of the movement. They include women, children and others. Police personnel have been posted in every road, street, locality in the most unprecedented manner. The government has also deployed around 300 special police officers to prevent activists from staging any protest.
We fail to understand that when the blockade has been going on since mid December and many rounds of dialogue has happened between the people\\\’s movements and the government then why is government shying away from implementing the recommendations of the Expert Committee which advised against construction of Mega Dams ? Why the Group of Ministers report, which was constituted to discuss these matters, has not been made public ? Why is Assam Government in collusion with the Central Government hell bent on building these dams at such great human cost ?
Today we are witness to one of the biggest peaceful, non-violent anti dam sustained agitation in Assam led by peasants, tribals and othres but even then the government is not listening. The danger to the border state of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam is not from outside forces but from proposed construction of 168 dams for 68000 MW on various rivers of Arunachal Pradesh. The NHPC constructed Lower Subansiri Hydel Project for 2000 MW situated in a highly earthquake prone location is one of this upcoming project. Citizens of this nation have a right to know that why our lives are being mortgaged in the name of development and for profiteering of some private and public corporations who are there only for profit. We vehemently oppose this and support the peaceful struggle of the people and those of the KMSS and other organisations in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Akhil Gogoi is on his third day of the indefinite hunger strike against the atrocities of the government against the peacefully protesting people, many of whom are injured and are languishing in hospital. NAPM supports KMSS\\\’s and Akhil\\\’s brave struggle for life with dignity and against unjust destructive capitalist development thrust upon people against their will. We support the demand made by the people\\\’s movements and urge the government of India and Assam to immediately intervene and listen to people\\\’s voices. We support the demand of KMSS that :
The government release all the detained activists unconditionally.
All police atrocities be stopped immediately.
The protesters should be allowed to set up our makeshift camps which will monitor any goods going to LSHP
The construction of the lower Subansiri project be stopped till there is a reasonable agreement agreed by the downstream people.