9th April 2015, Patna/ New Delhi: More than 300 satyagrahis have been taken into custody with brutality by the Bihar Police, when they were holding a peaceful satyagrah in front of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal in Patna today. Under the banner of Bihar Nav-Nirman Abhiyan, nine people’s movements and organisations, namely Kosi Nav-Nirman Manch, Jan Mukti Sangharsh Vahini, Parchadhari Sangharsh Vahini, Lok Sangharsh Samiti, Dalit Shakti Sangathan, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Parivartan jan andolan, Lok Sangharsh Morchaand Mazdoor Kisan Samiti, came together to demand people’s right over land and livelihoods. The specific demands included:

  1. Ensure Forest rights of 1 lakh people who have been denied so far
  2. Ensure land rights of those who possess parcha
  3. Guarantee rehabilitation and resettlement of 3 lakh people affected by Kosi floods
  4. Provide equal land rights to women in the total amount of land for distribution
  5. Ensure land rights of those who are affected by floods and river erosion
  6. Give individual parcha to every homeless family

The satyagrah and arrests in Patna is yet another reminder that the movement for land rights is intensifying in every state, district, village and basti of this country. Despite the State’s apathy, use of brute force or the draconian land acquisition ordinance to facilitate corporate loot of our resources, the assertion of right over land and resources will only gain strength. While the Bihar government is taking a welcome step to oppose land ordinance, they still have the responsibility and the use of force against peacefully protesting Satyagrahis shows their commitment to land rights.

NAPM India