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Mainstream, VOL XLIX, No 46, November 5, 2011

DVC Oustees Suspend Agitation

Tuesday 8 November 2011

The people, mostly tribals of Jharkhand and West Bengal, displaced due to the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) project since the fifties—who were on dharna and relay fast at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar from October 17, 2011—were able to wrest a concrete assurance from Union Energy Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who met a delegation of the oustees alongwith social activists at his office in the Capital on October 24. The meeting was held at the initiative of Swami Agnivesh. Earlier the displaced people had also met Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is in charge of the Water Resources portfolio; that meeting took place due to the intervention of Medha Patkar.

Shinde is learnt to have patiently listened to the problems and hardships the displaced persons are being forced to endure. Thereafter he spoke to the Chairman and Managing Director of the DVC, and gave a written order to act on their demands for employment in the DVC alongside adequate compensation for their loss of land and livelihood.

He further assured the delegation that he would see to it that the oustees are able to secure justice as early as possible.

Following the meeting and the assurance the displaced people decided to temporarily suspend their agitation from October 25.

Those who called on the Minister were, besides Swami Agnivesh, Ramashray Singh, who has been leading the movement under the banner of the Ghatwar Adivasi Mahasabha, Chandra Sori, and Madhuresh of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM).

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