Fighting Injustice in Polepally SEZ

…more than courage it takes WILL to stand up against injustice !

SEZ displaced cup of woes overflows

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By Swathi.V

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Land from Polepally, Mudireddypally villages assigned to SEZ

Rs. 18,000 an acre for assigned lands too less for livelihood

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Nowhere to go: Widows of Polepally village whose lands have been acquired pour out their woes at a meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday.

HYDERABAD: “We have lost dignity along with livelihood. Not a sliver of land is left even to bury us after death. We fear nothing now as we stand to lose nothing,” Sukkamma, a woman from Polepally village of Mahbubnagar district says fuming with rage.

She is just one among the number of widows displaced. She came here to participate in a meeting by ViRaSam on Sunday aimed to express solidarity with them.

Sukkamma lost her 3.5 acres of land to the pharmaceutical SEZ coming up near her village. After she lost her husband Narsaiah, which she attributes to land acquisition, she and her matriculate son were working as construction labourers at the very site. She is also one among the 25 women from the village who will contest the coming byelections to Jadcherla constituency – as a token protest of their displacement.

The previous Government had acquired 1,000 acres of land from Polepally and Mudireddypally villages through APIIC while the present Government assigned a chunk of it for the SEZ. Vociferous protests by farmers were met with arrests and cases.

“Not even an inch of land belonged to the upper castes. All the cultivators were Dalits, STs and Minorities,” said Kagula Madhu, convenor of the ‘Polepally SEZ Vyatireka Aikya Sanghatana’.

Madhu claims that 30 to 35 farmers died of inexplicable reasons after the agitations. Whatever be the reason, the deaths certainly left many lives rudderless. Widows of the farmers have been left to fend for themselves and cope with all the sociological repercussions. “My two daughters were deserted by their husbands. I could not give the gold promised at the time of wedding. Having lost the land, I may never fulfil the promise,” Husani Rangamma, a widow who is preparing to contest elections said.

Compensation of Rs.18,000 per acre for assigned lands was way too less to make up for lost livelihoods. Though patta lands yielded about Rs. 30,000-Rs. 60,000 an acre, it was not enough to purchase alternative land. Even finding work was difficult.

Courtesy: The Hindu

21/04/2008

URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/04/21/stories/2008042157360400.htm

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Written by dilkibaatein

April 21, 2008 at 9:54 am

Posted in English, News Archive

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