Thursday, January 28, 2010

GOAMAP condemns sedition charge and arrest of Piyush Sethia

Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) strongly condemns sedition charge and arrest of farmer Piyush (Manus) Sethia by Tamilnadu police. It's tragic irony that State authorities have chosen to make mockery of Freedom of Speech Expression guaranteed in the constitution India on the Republic day 26 January 2010 and that too at a function to celebrate the republic in Salem, Tamilnadu. Piyush - set for cycle yatra in P. Chidambaram's constituency - was distributing pamphlets in Tamil condemning the Salwa Judum war in Chattisgarh targeting over 600 adivasi villages causing innumerable pain and agony when police took him in their custody after hitting him on his head, and charged him with sedition.

Piyush (Manus) Sethia has been associated with GOAMAP since August 2009 when his group in Salem 'Salem Speak Out!' when it hosted the three day meeting of various groups and individuals struggling against mining industry in India. GOAMAP has been privileged to be part of this meeting then through two of its representatives.

Obsession with growth driven GDP model has gripped Indian State, driving desperate to insult and humiliate Indian constitution with repressive curtailments of Civil Liberties and murderous trappings on 'incivil' adivasi people all over Chatisgarh State through 'Salwa Judum'. In the short run as well as in the long run the civil war in Chatisgarh is beneficial towards spiraling of further violence on both the waring sides.

The war is annihilating stable villages and clearing the way for corporate to move in to trigger India's great mining plunder. GOAMAP calls for thorough introspection of the mining driven, growth led development model followed by India leading towards massive destruction and inequality all over the country including Goa. It is this model of development pursued by India that is responsible huge upheavals and protests against state repression. India must instead follow the path of de-growth.

GOAMAP extends full Support and Solidarity to Piyush and his family in Salem and demands his immediate release from the prison and quashing of sedition charge against him.


Sebastian Rodrigues

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