Fighting Injustice in Polepally SEZ

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

NTPP meets Polepally Farmers

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Finally Polepally SEZ gets one Telangana Party to meet them and share experiences of the struggle and declare solidarity with them.

‘Nava Telangana Praja Party’ (NTPP) visited Polepally and talk about the SEZ tragedy in public and to the media along with the people who came from several villages. Today, NTPP chief Mr. Devender Goud, Mr Peddi Reddy, Machineni K Rao, Pashyam Yadagiri, Allgadapa Panduranga Rao, NTPP volunteers and supporters visited Polepally in large number. Throughout the way from Hyderabad to Polepally people received Mr.Goud’s team with great applause and warm greetings!

I didn’t believe that it would be a big event with every few kilometers the convoy being greeted by large crowds and series of events dotting the long journey. Public meetings, interaction with sarpanchs and youth on the way and press meets.

Devender was asked to garland Ambedkar statues in two villages on the way. In Shadnagar, local groups joined in big number and had a press conference. He explained the purpose of visit and from there, they moved in big procession.

Madhu Kagula organised a meeting along with other groups in Polepally SEZ. A warm welcome by men and women from the village who came to know of Devender’s visit was a sign of hope that came out with drums and songs. It was a big relief for them to see so many people visiting their village. It was a great feeling of meeting friends who come to greet in trouble and know their lives. Gopal, Bairagi and others filled the air with Telangana songs and songs of Polepally battle for justice.

There was a huge gathering from all three affected villages with local Sarpanchs and village elders of all communities and hamlets in the neighborhood. Media was also present in big number. All the farmers spoke about their plight, the process of devastation, how they were threatened and harassed, jailed etc.

Mr. Kurmaiah, questioned Goud why all parties were silent all these years and that NTPP is welcome only if they do something against the SEZ.

Gundlagadda thanda leader Laxma Naik said, they did not receive the money for two years, and when they wanted to cultivate their lands they were directly taken to jails along with their farm implements. He told that they lost everything and they don’t have any other source to support their lives. Mudireddypally women also spoke about their lands. Mogulamma, Shukkama, Mala Jangilamma, Seenaiah goud etc. The MLA contestants among others shared their struggles and the harassment they suffered from, the local political leaders, one and all. NTPP heard them in detail.

Madhu kagula explained how local officials betrayed the poor framers and served SEZ lords as people died one after the other.

I gave an account of how Polepally SEZ was neglected by authorities and also Telangana groups, intellectuals and political parties. How the people were orphaned but how they kept the spirit intact and moved ahead to challenge the exploitation despite all odds. The Government is trying to ruin the lives of all poor; the poor belonging vulnerable communities like SC, ST, BC and minorities have been specially targeted by Polepally SEZ lords and the local political representatives. Polepally SEZ is the unique SEZ all over India which got least compensation for loss of lands. There are about 66 SEZ approved in the state after SEZ Rules came into force and the earmarked land is about 22000 acres. But that’s the paper story which is a gross underestimate of the real magnitude like hundred hectares officially approved for Polepally SEZ. While the acquisitions exceeded thousand acres in reality. APIIC, politicians and officials joined together to kills the farmers. Plight of single women is worse with poverty playing havoc with them, when male member of the house is missing. I stressed how the social order was ruined and people are migrating to survive form starvation deaths in the village that already lost 41 lives. I mentioned that Polepally got some friends around the world after the struggle became news with ‘Polepally 13’ in by-elections. Now there is an exclusive website http://www.polepally.wordpress.com meeting information needs of people interested in the struggle. I told that Polepally farmers is like the Telangana farmer and if we save Polepally farmer we are saving Telangana farmer

Mr. Peddi Reddy, Secretary, NTPP, mentioned how Telangana is deteriorating day by day during past four years. Who are managing these SEZs and how so much of land is being given to them, he asked. NTPP is with people and this is just a beginning, he told. He explained how the congress is looting lands, resources, and lives of Telangana

Later, Mr. Devender Goud addressed the gathering. He said that the very second day after declaring the party, he came to APIIC dharna and he promised them that he will visit Polepally. Mentioned about how NTPP is planning to visit all the districts to know the problems of people and listen to them and see where the parties have failed so far in walking with the people and living with the people to be a source of support in their struggles. As part of that, two days back they visited Singareni workers and discussed issues of coal miners with them. NTPP is going to take up all the issues in Telangana, he said. SEZs are not only an issue of Mahbubnagar but its also going to pollute the river dundhubi, and will affect the health of the people. The entire river will also carry this pollution downstream to other districts. How can we just keep quite by seeing this destruction with Govt as key player in this tragedy? Govt is making lives of poor people a hell and building castles of the landlords and SEZ lords. How could Telangana accept this as development and how are we going to understand the challenges of growing exploitation in the context of the demand for a separate state, he asked?

He addressed the media on several issues about what’s his future action plan and why he didn’t question openly while he was with TDP etc.

The meeting concluded with announcement of PUBLIC HEARING on 7th Aug 2008 on Polepally SEZ.

Over all, the meeting gave a great morale boosting to Polepally farmers. They never saw any leader coming and listening to them. They never saw all local leaders, sarpanchs talking about them. The Public Meeting was held right in the entrance of SEZ, as the APIIC was dumb found to question the large gathering in the area for the first time.

There was no pomp and party. It was simple and a meeting with people to listen sincerely. There was hardly any propaganda about party or big dialogues. There were Muslims present in large numbers, all caste groups in the gathering. Public came voluntarily, nobody paid them to attend and clap someone.

Media covered the issue and our people got strength to fight for few more weeks. Mr. Devender Goud agreed to come again for the Public Hearing on 7th August.

Friends, Telangana people are eagerly waiting for leaders and leaders who could understand their pulse and their life and death struggles. Polepally welcomes every one, who wishes to come and share and support their struggle, with an open heart !

Jai Telangana,

Sujatha Surepally.

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Written by Sujatha Surepally

July 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm

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