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20 May, 2011

Medha Patkar detained, on fast at police station

Medha Patkar was detained by the Maharashtra police while on her way to the Golibar slum area where Shivalik Ventures demolished 11 houses yesterday and 12 persons were arrested.

Medha and about 50 slum residents who were with her were taken to the Kheruvadi police station. They are on an indefinite hunger-strike in the police station.

The following is a communication received from the National Alliance of People’s Movement in this connection:

“Today the bulldozers of Shivalik Ventures continued to demolish houses in the Golibar slum area, where yesterday 11 houses were broken down and nearly 12 people were arrested.

“Medha Patkar and nearly 50 people from other bastis were on their way to the Golibar area when they were detained and put in Kheruvadi police station. Frustrated with the constant violation of the laws and open support to the Shivalik Ventures which has been riddled with corruption, as mentioned in the letter written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan yesterday, Medha Patkar and others have started indefinite hunger-strike in police custody.”.

NAPL has appealed to all to write to the Chief Minister demanding immediate stoppage of the demolitions and release of all people arrested and detained yesterday and today.

For details, please contact Prerna Gaikawad 9221958763 in Golibar or Dinesh Shinde in Kheruvadi police station with Medha Patkar 9221001717.

Details regarding the Khar/Golibar struggle are available at

The following is the text of the letter Medha Patkar wrote to the Chief Minister:

Dear Shri Prithviraj Chavanji,

I have been reading about the good decisions of yours to review the 3-K schemes, rather scams and we welcome this courageous decision. While two of these are cancelled, enquiry of Shivalik Ventures is apparently, on. It is already an established fact that the builder, with the name changed many times and so was the enterprise (SVI Realties, Shivalik Ventures, Shi. Ventures Private Ltd., Lifestyle Realty) has committed serious criminal offences in the process of seeking approval. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority, to the Mantralaya, all have favoured the builder.

Its also seen and exposed from the letter of the Directorate of Income Tax that UNITECH has made 50% of the investment, that too by collecting advances through Neera Radia! It thus can be covered in the enquiry on the 2 G spectrum scam.

Another level of fraudulent sanctions is of the co-operatives in the Golibar region. Preparing fake documents of General Body meetings with false signatures, cheating the private owners and co-operatives member's, putting thousands of people in the transit camps, violating the rules, but also constructed on the land belonging to the Defence Ministry (Air Force) or the Railway Ministry etc......are also thoroughly assessed and exposed by us as well as the concerned authorities. FIRs filed are being investigated into, based on the High Court orders in certain cases.

In this context, while the Project deserves cancellation and legal action, its shocking that the Additional Collector, Mr. Rokhade is again issuing notices for demolition and tomorrow morning again the massive police force is to be deployed for the same. These colonies of families settled 70-100 years ago, are not "encroacher's slums", but pucca houses erected out of sweat and blood of toiling people.

The land grabbers, eyeing on this land, just 3 kms away from the airport, are up with all political pressures and interests, to not just evict, but destroy the lives of thousands of families. This must be stopped and questioned. While we are to fight the battle tooth and nail, as we did in January last, we expect you to issue immediate orders to stop the demolition during the inquiry and further take appropriate steps to cancel the Shivalik project at Golibar, to save life and shelter of the thousands of families from the jaws of land sharks. This battle, would otherwise catch fire with all the builders and all the affected shall join the people of Golibar with women at the forefront.

With Regards,

Medha Patkar

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