Sardar Statue Unveiled, Freedom of Expression Curbed

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has fought against British rule to free India and empower the countrymen with freedom of expression. But arrest of activists and villagers just before unveiling of his statue in Gujarat, a crack down on freedom expression.

An activist said it’s ironic that the Iron man is being cast in Iron and in his name freedom of expression is being curbed for what he fought all his life against the British.

She even expressed apprehension over the money pumped for building Sardar Statue. No one knows how much money from welfare programs will be diverted for this or whether this is being built with black money, she doubted.

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), an NGO, said activists and villagers had announced symbolic protest in their own houses by staging day long hunger strike, having no plans to assemble at any public place.

The sit on protest in their own homes was aimed at protecting their land, forest, livelihood and river. These people were denied freedom of expression, the NGO noted.

Four activists Rohit Prajapati, Trupti Shah, Amrish Brahmbhatta, Sudhir Biniwale, were put under house arrest by Rajpipal police on 30 October.

“Only because the Gujarat chief minister Mr. Narendra Modi is schedule to preside the program for his plans for what he calls the world’s largest statue, ‘The statue of Unity’, they have been denied the fundamental right to freedom of expression even within their own homes. The statue of unity comes at what cost whose cost?,” asked PSS.

The organization also said that the Gujarat government did not allow tribals and activists speak up when Chief Minister is around or go to jail, at Kevadia.

“Meanwhile activists and villagers from more than 7 villages were detained from their homes by the police, again without pressing any formal charges,” PSS stated.

“At midnight activist Lakhan Musafir, Dhirendra Soneji, Dipen Desai, Rameshbhai Tadvi from Indravarna village, Shaileshbai Tadvi form Vagadia village, Vikrambhai Tadvi and 2 others form Kevadia and other villagers were detained illegally to create atmosphere of terror inside villages to prevent planned well-announced peaceful hunger strike in villages.”


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