Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression has strongly condemned the midnight crackdown on thousands of people staging a ‘Satyagraha’ and hunger-strike at Ramlila Maidan with Baba Ramdev for demands related to corruption and black money.
In a statement, the group said:
We are astonished at Mr Manmohan Singh's defense of police action saying that there was no alternative. The attack on the protesters was absolutely unwarranted as the ‘satyagraha’ was neither causing any law and order problems nor was it disrupting the peace of the city in any manner.
We are not supporters of Baba Ramdev but clearly see the role of dissent in upholding a democratic society.
We also condemn the secret parleys between the government and Baba Ramdev as both parties are ready to compromise with each other and show no regard for the genuine mounting anger that people are feeling towards corruption and theft by those in power for personal and corporate gains. It is the breakdown of these parleys which prompted the attack on innocent satyagrahis.
We also question BJP and Sangh Parivar's opposition to this act of repression. It is selective and opportunistic; whenever it has suited BJP it has deployed the same means to quash opposition and questioning. In Chhattisgarh, most recently, it is proposing to ban People's Union for Civil Liberties which has been an above board organization espousing the cause of civil liberties since the dark days of emergency leave alone frequent burning of villages, and violent attacks on the villagers.
We wish to highlight that such attacks are an everyday occurrence in large areas of Adivasi and Dalit habitats where land is being grabbed to subserve corporate greed. Except that they are more vicious and batons are replaced by automatic rifles but unfortunately they do not make the headlines though they have rendered millions homeless.
Kalpana Mehta, Rinchin, Ranjana Padhi, Indira Chakravarthy, Sudha Bhardwaj, Geeta Charusivam, Lena Ganesh, Uma Chandru, Madhuri Krishnaswami and others