On Friday, more than five hundred activists from all over the State of Rajasthan gathered to condemn and protest the targeting of activist Kavita Srivastava by Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan Police in the name of Maoism.
They also came to demand that the State had no right to infringe on the freedom of work of the activists. This meeting was only a beginning and a warning they said. This could turn into a movement if the Government continues to attack the work of activists.
A silent march with black bands was also carried out with placards which had slogans against Repression by Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Governments. A memorandum demanding from the CM that there should no repeat of such police action against activists and movement people and that he should urgently call a meeting of all activists with senior officials of the Administration and the police. The CM did not meet the delegation so the memo was faxed to the CM.
Speaking at the public meeting at Statue Circle Former Chair person of the State Women\\\’s Commission said that an attack on Kavita was an attack on the women\\\’s movement and all other movements with which she was associated. Dr. Malati Gupta of RUWA, Kusum from AIDWA, Nishat Hussein from the Muslim welfare society, Renuka Pamecha of Women\\\’s Rehabilitation group also shared their views as women\\\’s groups.
Shankar Singh of the MKSS said that if Kavita was a naxalite then all of them should also be labelled as the work of all of us in Rajasthan was founded in principles of ahimsa.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation of people who came from Mewat in Haryana, Advocate Ramjan Chaudhary and Zila Parishad Sadsya Mohmeedeen said that the Government of Rajasthan colluded with the Government of Chhattisgarh to attack Kavita Srivastava and the PUCL as they had exposed the role of the Police and Administration in the recent carnage in Goiplagarh in Bharatpur. The PUCL report had brought a lot of embarassment to the Government and this was immediate provocation for the vindictive action.
Dalit Rights leader Bhanwar Meghwanshi said that the PUCL was like a Doctor\\\’s clinic and that everydescription who wanted redressal on issues related to human rights violation had a right to access support for their struggle against justice. Like a Doctor does not ask the ideology of the person who comes for treatment so the PUCL, where all were welcome. Thus targetting her was not against the principle of human rights. Mr. PL Mimroth of the Centre for Dalit Rights also said that the dalit movement in Rajasthan would take this issue all over the state.
Farmers from the anti displacement struggle in Nawalgarh said that their struggle against the various companied who were trying to acquire land was connected with the freedom of workers to protect their and the rights of others who were being displaced and thus this act of the Government of targetting Kavita Srivastava if not nipped in the bud would be used against all who are a threat to the Government.
Representing those who came from the anti mining movement in Neem Ka thana Kaialsh Meena said that it was important to focus on the democractic rights and civil liberties of activists as each of them had on an average four to five false cases and the state was bent upon criminalising dissent.
Others who spoke included advocate Ajay Kumar Jain who showed the audience how the whole process of raid was illegal. Others who spoke included National Secretary of the Jamait e Islami Hind Prof Salim, Ram Karan from the Barefoot and SWRC, Tilonia, Arvind Ojha from Urmul Trust, Noor Mohammed from Alwar Mewat Institute of Education and Development, Sawai Singh of the Smagra Sewa Sangh, representatives of Lawyers from Bhilwara and youth groups.
The entire meeting was coordinated by Rajinder Sahiwal of Janwadi Lekhak Sangh.