“Hello friends! My name is Vivek and I am speaking from Waidhan, Singrauli district. Today in our own country it has become a crime to fight for one’s rights. For the past 3 years Mahan Sangharsh Samiti and Greenpeace has been fighting for their forest rights in the forest region of Mahan.
At midnight on July 30, 2014 police again raided the Greenpeace guesthouse and arrested two activists- Rahul Gupta and Akshay Gupta. They also searched all the rooms in the guesthouse. When I spoke to them they said that these kinds of activities must be halted immediately because it is against the government. I felt as if I had gone back in time – two months back. Everything was happening just as it had happened before. The only thing that had changed was the date. I question, why all this is happening. Is it a crime today to save forests? Is it a crime to save our homes?
We met our colleagues after about 10 hours. Till then the police had not told us the charges for which they were arrested. In the evening around 3:30 we found out that they had registered cases under IPC Sections 353, 186, 294, 507 and 34 against them. These incidents call democracy into question and cause harm to our fundamental rights. I oppose this strongly and demand that our colleagues be released quickly.
Right now, all our colleagues are in jail and are awaiting justice in what’s referred to as a temple of democracy!”
“Hi! This is Sushmita Chatterjee from Greenpeace Pune. I have been working for this past one year as a fundraiser and I have been sent to Mahan for the past one week. I am here as a volunteer and since the very first day that I am here I have been seeing that a lot of issues are coming up regarding the upcoming Gram Sabha. Every day whenever Greenpeace is trying to go and talk to the people-the villagers, some or the other situation comes up by the people, by the company people or the police and they are trying their best to isolate us from the villagers. Yesterday the police came to the village and tried seizing the mobile boosters and solar panels saying that there were threats and it is military frequencies that we were activating there. So after such false allegations and harassing us for the entire day we finally come back to the guest house and by midnight the police comes to our guest house very quietly. A bunch of some 11 policemen were there including two lady police. They come and they search the entire house without a search warrant. As we all know this has happened before with Akshay. Akshay, Rahul Gupta- he is a volunteer and Vivek Goyal another colleague of mine, the three of them were taken downstairs and a lot of interrogation goes on. A lot of abuses were heard as well by the policemen to our colleagues and we kept a watch through the window from our room. Finally Akshey and Rahul were arrested by 1-1:30 am. It was not legal of them to come without a search warrant or an arrest warrant that too at midnight. Last time when Akshay got arrested it was around 12 again that he got arrested and the report says that he was arrested morning 7 am which is false. I am very scared what all false allegations they are going to put up this time. I am very scared very worried for them. We don’t know, we still don’t know what charges they are going to fake. We’re trying our best here. And each and every day I am just losing more and more trust on this system, on these people and how they are isolating us from the entire villages.”
Hi! I am Krishika Raina. I work with Greenpeace India Pune office. I am in Waidhan, Singrauli, MP as a Greenpeace volunteer. This is my first visit here and it has been a wonderful experience to know in detail about the work going on here. But yesterday, 29th July, 2014 was an exceptional day. I witnessed the arrest of Greenpeace activists. I had read about the previous arrests which happened in May but actually witnessing it was really scary. Even though we were anticipating the arrest it was still unnerving when it actually happened. We were given proper briefing and instructions for any situation that would happen but still we were not prepared well enough. I was asleep and suddenly, I was woken up by the commotion that was happening in the living room. When I went to check, I saw 10-12 policemen including two policewomen entering and inspecting the guesthouse at around 12 midnight. We had heard rumours that the entire team would be arrested so it was scary to actually face it. This was my first police inquiry of sorts. But only Akshay and Rahul were taken arrested. At that moment I had mixed feelings. I was kind of relieved that not everyone was taken. I was sad that two of my teammates were taken. But the feeling that dominated all was that of anger. That they were arrested on false charges and I could do nothing about it. I am using this medium, not only to talk about people being arrested for false charges but also to make people realise that it is high time to do something about it, not just to save our forests but also to protect the basic rights of the forest dwellers which are not being given to them by the administration. I also feel proud to be here and to be part of the battle and witness the struggles the people living here go through. To just so that we all can survive. I will definitely go back and mobilise more and more people about this. Thank you! Zindabad!
“Yesterday, Shivprasad Yadav threatened to kill me. Today another one, Bhola Singh stopped me in front of Dasrath Yadav’s house (Lalchand Sahu was present there) and told, ‘Your life is in danger, why didn’t you give your signature to Ramakant Tiwari?’ I told him that’s because I want to save my land and the forest. Yet again, I got death threat from him. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take this issue to administration and help save the lives of people like me under threat.”
* fyi-1. Ramakant Tiwari – CEO of Mahan Coal Ltd. (MCL)
* fyi-2. Bhola Singh and Shivprasad Yadav are known in the villages as brokers of the ‘company’
Now, call/mail to report this to the District Magistrate M Salvendran and demand an action against people giving threats to the villagers for not giving their lands to MCL. Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
“Secretary Ram Naresh Shah asked for Rs.1000 when Dharmraj Agariya went to him for collecting Ration Card. I request that this issue be reported to the SDM (Sub Divisional Magistrate) for bringing justice for the poor villagers, the victims of these corrupt practices by Govt employees and representatives.”
Now to help stop this corrupt secretary asking for bribe to hand over Ration Cards to villagers:
Report this to the SDM – Ashish pathak, phone – 07805 (233225) ,
Report this to the Public Grievance Portal online form – http://pgportal.gov.in/Grievance.aspx
Report this to MP Lokayukta online form – http://mplokayukt.nic.in/forms-2.htm
Report this to Anti Corruption Bureau-Jabalpur at CBI, phone – 0761-2679222, 0761-2679111, mobile – 9425600091, email – email@example.com
Jagnaryan Shah (Village Amelia, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, Dist- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh).
From 17 July 2014, the Company and Government are jointly distributing notice regarding the Mahua trees in the forest. In the name of this notice, Govt officials – Patwari, RI and Forest Munshi are luring the people. This notice says, ‘you collect produces from Mahua trees which are now under the area allocated to Mahan Coal Ltd. So, we declare xyz number of Mahua trees in your name as compensation.’ Tehsildar had sent this notice to us stating anyone having objections regarding this would need to raise so by 26 July.
So, today being 26th July, 575 villagers gathered at the Community Hall to submit memorandum of their opposition to this notice to the Govt officials. The 575 of us strongly opposed the notice and said, ‘because the Community Forest Rights hasn’t yet been implemented for people in Mahan; we don’t accept any such notices before that!’
I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to keep on supporting our fight, take it to different levels and save Mahan forest together.”
Call Jagnarayan at 9009075918 to know more about the public protest against this notice.
BHOLA PRASAD SHAH (Vil. Suhira, Post. Karsualal, Tehsil. Mada, Dist. Singrauli); Kripanath Yadav (citizen journalist) reporting for Bhola’s:
“Its a complain about corruption against Dhiresh Tripathi – Patwari of my village. I, Bhola Shah, applied for registration of my land to Dhiresh – Patwari. He had asked me a bribe of Rs. 3000 and when I paid the amount, he asked for 1500 more. I was unable to pay any more bribe. Then Dhiresh asked me to bring all the records of my land and after getting the same, he tore them all. After tearing my land documents, Dheeresh told that he would give me new land registration ‘patta’ within two days. Witness of the incident was Bhagwandas Pandey, s/o Dasrathram Pandit.
16 years passed, till today I didn’t get my land documents back because I could not bribe the Patwari anymore. Every 10-15 days I urge Dhiresh to give my rightful land documents and he keeps on refusing me! Now the Patwari tells me, ‘Do whatever you want to do!’ I request you all to take this poor person’s case to the higher authority for helping me get my land documents and take strong action against such corrupt and criminal officials working in Govt’s Revenue Department.
*I’m old, can’t speak well, on my behalf, Kripanath is reporting my problem.”
Call Bhola/Kripanath to know more detail of this injustice, phone – 09753939429
Call the corrupt Patwari – Dhiresh, tell him that he is doing a legal offence and he must give Bhola’s land documents back, phone – 09752079102
Report this to Deputy Commissioner of MP Revenue Dpt.- H. B. Sharma, phone -0751-2441240 (office extn 240), 0751- 2441297 (res.)
“On 21st July 2014, District Magistrate (Collector) of Singrauli invited Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) and Mahan Vikas Manch to discuss what the villagers want regarding the forest and mining. Collector told the villagers that they could get ‘mouza’ somewhere in the forest area and compensation. But, we from MSS cleared our stand on forest and rights. We told the collector that until in a Gramsabha we get our Community Forest Rights implemented under the Forest Rights Act 2006; we won’t let any company work in the forest, we don’t want any compensation against the forest.
Collector finally said that we could only come to a decision on this through a Gramsabha. In the Gramsabha, whichever side (forest or mining) the majority of villagers would take, would determine the future of Mahan.”
Call Hardayal at 08359820620 to know more about the meeting with District Magistrate.
“I know that you all are doing a fantastic work in Mahan to save the forest. We, the citizens are watching closely your fight and we want to extend our hands of support from Delhi to you all! Whatever hard work you are putting in to saving your forest, will be successful and we will help as much as we can to amplify your voices.”
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a company broker, abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji said that he would bring explosives through the ‘company’ and detonate them in the village and all the villagers would die!
Some villagers are afraid after this incident. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call SDoP Singrauli (Sub Divisional officer of Police) Mr. Parihar – 09479998884 and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers!
Call the District Magistrate and and notify this! M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Hardayal to know more about the incident – 08359820620
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a company broker, abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji declared that he would detonate explosives in the village so that all the villagers die.
This incident took place in-front of Shankarlal Shah S/O Lakheswarlal Shah’s house. The villagers are panicked. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call SDoP Singrauli (Sub Divisional officer of Police) Mr. Parihar – 09479998884 and demand an action against such threats to the community!
Call the District Magistrate and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers. M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : email@example.com
Call Chandrika Prasad to know more about the incident – 08878014585
“On 13 July 2014, Ramji Yadav, a broker of Mahan Coal Ltd., abused and threatened all the villagers who are trying to save their homes and the forest. Ramji declared that he would bring explosives through Mahan Coal Ltd and detonate them in every corner of the village so that all the villagers die.
This whole incident took place in-front of Shankarlal Shah S/O Lakheswarlal Shah’s house. The villagers are panicked for obvious reasons. I request the listeners of Radio Sangharsh to take my demand to the administration for a strong legal action against Ramji Yadav.”
Call the District Magistrate and demand an action against Ramji and an apology to the villagers. M. Salvendran – Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
D Kalyan Chakravarti (Supdt. of Police) :07805 (234601)
Call Ramji and tell him that you know what he is doing and he’s reported – 9617768677
Call Jagnarayan to know more about the incident – 07566904239
“My call is to raise concern against this year’s tendu leaf payment that is happening in Chaura chowki, 5 km away from the village. Villagers are having difficulties in getting there, but no one can afford not going, otherwise they won’t get their money.
I demand that this is stopped now and the forest officials come to Amelia to pay its villagers’ due. Officers in this distribution are, DFO S.K. Singh, Pannalal,, Yogendra Munshi, Ranger, Jaiswal Beat Guard.” (*editor – not to mention that the people have to walk 5 km back home again)
Call DFO – S.K Singh and ask him to stop making the villagers walk 10 kilometers for taking their money, whereas the forest officers can come to the village easily. Phone – 9424793525
Call Kripanath to know more about this – 9424793525
HARIDAYAL SINGH GOND – President of Vanadhikar Samiti (Village Amelia, Post Karsualal, Tehsil Mada, and Dist. Singrauli)
“As the president of Van Adhikar Samiti, I’m reporting that the payment of Amelia’s Tendu collection is being distributed five km away from the village, in Chaura forest post. Villagers are facing difficulties to travel up down this far a place. I demand that this irregular practice stops now and rather the officials come down to Amelia to pay the villagers here. The Officers involved in this are DFO – S.K. Singh, Munshi – Yogendra, Forest Ranger, Beat Guard- Jaiswal.”
Call DFO – S.K Singh – 9424793525 and ask him to stop making the villagers walk 10 kilometers for getting their money back home, whereas the forest officers can easily come to the village.
Call Haridayal to know more about this – 8085518380
KRIPANATH YADAV, Village Amelia, post karsualal, tehsil mada, Dist Singrauli, MP
“On the tenth of June 2014, I applied for demarcation of my land to Dhiresh Kumar Tripathi (local Patwari) and RI officer. They told that they would decide on a date for the demarcation. However, its been more than a month and yet there has been no contact or information from their end about the same.
I request the listeners to report these corrupt officers and ensure that they are brought under the law and strong action taken against them.”
Speak to Kripanath for more details – 09753939429
Report the corrupt officials to -
Collector & District Magistrate: Shri M. Selvendran- Phone : 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110, Email Id : email@example.com
Civic Center, MP Government, Helpline no- 155343 (toll free)
“Ï am a local of the Mahan forest region, volunteering with Mahan Sangharsh Samiti. Mahan forest is our life force. Everyone – the women, men, children and the elderly people of the region are dependent on it for their survival and livelihood.
The women have equal right to the forest and associated resources. Forest is a gift of nature and indestructible, through the means of which, us locals enjoy a peaceful and content life.
With the prime ministerial elections, I thought that we too would get to see some “acche din”(Good days, Slogan made popular by the BJP). But that didn’t happen for us!
Like earlier, even today we have to deal with “burre din”(Bad days) So I request the government to pay attention to our problems so we can also experience good days.
In our area, women are being heavily exploited. Their rights are being denied to them. They are abused and receive life threats from the governmental officials here! And, no one in the Govt bothers stop this atrocities inflicted on us.
The villagers, in keeping with the 2006 Forests Rights Act, are peacefully protesting to get their community forest rights implemented save Mahan forest. As a result of this we are facing a lot of harassment related problems.
Hence through the means of Radio Sangharsh I want to bring to the attention of the Women’s and Child’s Rights Commission of India – the problems faced by the women in our village and push for a legal probe against the defaulters, which would help all of us live peacefully.”
Know more details on the situation there from Jagnarayan at 07566904239
Inform the National Women’s Commission Complaints cell: 011-23219750, 011-23213419, 011-23236153
Call the Women Protection Cell at 9425841437 and mail – firstname.lastname@example.org and demand action on the Government employees assaulting women.
Report this to District Magistrate – M. Salvendran, phone – 07805234541, 07805244110, mail – email@example.com
“On 3rd and 4th July, 23 people from Amelia and 13 from Budher attended a workshop on rights implementation in GramSabha. They taught us well, as a result of which, now we are well aware and informed about our rights in the Gram Sabha and Panchayat!
Earlier, ignorant of our rights, we’d not realise when we were being denied our rights during Gram Sabha proceedings. However, now that we are no more ill informed; we’ll insure that all Gram Sabha gatherings take place in their actual official framework.
I urge all women and men in the villages to attend the Gramsabha to pass the just resolution for all of us!”
To know more about the citizen journalist’s s views on the same, call Kripanath at 09753939429
ANITA KUSHWAHA – vil. Budher, post Jamghadi, Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh:
“On July 1st, we villagers went to protest against the company’s surreptitious works in the forest. A company broker and Forest Beat Guard- Dinesh Ratnakar tried throwing stones at us; but the labors working there took the stones from their hands. Dinesh Ratnakar threatened us saying, ‘this is my forest and I allow company to work here. Anyone coming to stop the work here would be a criminal, and I can kill that person!’He also tried to take the men and women to Bandhaura police station.
We told Dinesh that protecting our forest is our right and we won’t let any company take it!
The women with me, whom the Beat Guard tried to physically assault were Basanti, Ramkali, Shivkumari, Samdhariya-ji. I request all of you listeners and friends of Radio Sangharsh, help stop atrocities on women in Mahan. ”
Call the Forest Beat Guard – Dinest Ratnakar @ 7509318977. Give him a piece of mind on how to treat women and what the law can do to the violators!
National Women’s Commission Complaints Cell:011-23219750,011-23213419,011-23236153
Call the Women Protection Cell at 9425841437 and mail – firstname.lastname@example.org Demand an action on this Government employee assaulting women.
Report this to District Magistrate – M. Salvendran, phone – 07805 (234541), 07805(244110), email@example.com
Talk to Anita and know more about the incident – 8718939145
KAMLAJI – Amelia vil., Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh:
“There are three things that I want – peace, knowledge, and finally, enforcement of the 2006 Forest Rights Act. We won’t leave our forest and lands, we won’t retreat from our fight. We elect the people in power, the law needs to be implemented for our rights, now. I request you all to keep a close watch on our fight, that will continue till our last breath, for saving our forest.”
You can talk to and show your support to Kamlaji at 08359899684
KRIPANATH YADAV, (Mahan Sangharsh Samiti) Ameliya vil. Singrauli dst. M.P :
“ We are against the proposed coal extraction plan in the Mahan forests. This forest is the sustaining force of all life forms in and around it and our only source of livelihood for 62 villages!
We are facing severe hostility because of the opposition we are posing to the mining project. The company brokers are people from our village only. They frequently keep threatening us with slapping us with false charges (mainly using article 376 of the IPC, besides others)! Only recently they got four few of our fellow activists (Bechanlal, Vijay Shankar Singh, Akshay Gupta, Vineet Gupta) arrested on false charges. Eventually we got them released on bail. But this ‘false charges’ threats just don’t stop!
I repeatedly appeal to the listeners to spread our message far and wide, among state, national-international governments, across different nations and places, every opportunity you get and to support us in our fight to save Mahan and ensure that the perpetrators are dealt with legal actions.”
Call Kripanath to know more details on this – 09753939429
Call the following officials and demand an action:
Collector & District Magistrate: Shri M. Selvendran – 09425821181, 07805234541, 07805244110, email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional District Magistrate : Shri Dilip Kumar : 07805234613
Sub Divisional Magistrate(SDM) : Shri Ashish Pathak : 07805-233225
Chief Executive Officer(CEO, Zilla Panchayat) : Shri A. Tiwari : 07805-233201
Supdt. of Police : Shri D. Kalyan Chakravarti (IPS) : 07805-234601
“Tendu leaf collection season has been over a month ago. But forest department hasn’t paid Ameliya villagers money for their collection. On the other hand, villages around Amelia got the payment. Tendu leaf is a major source of income in Mahan region. Because of the non-payment of their due, poor people in Ameliya can’t plan their upcoming farming season and having a difficult time. It is our request to the DFO to ensure that the hard earned money of the workers reaches them within a week’s time”
* Because of the non-payment of their due, poor people in Ameliya can’t plan their upcoming farming season and related livelihood options. Help Ameliya Samiti get their money from Forest Department! Call the officials below and report this -
DFO S.K Singh – 09424793525 , 0755-2674001, 0755-2674302
Collector & District Magistrate: Mr. M. Selvendran (IAS) : Phone No. : 07805 – 234541, 07805-244110,
Radio Sangharsh is Greenpeace India’s decentralized project that helps the larger world discover stories from the dense forests. By digitizing the voices from grassroots, we hope to facilitate sharing of grassroots people’s life with the environment to the rest of the world. Combining technology with powerful social expressions, Radio Sangharsh aims to create a platform that will provoke and enlarge the debate around the right of indigenous people on forests. Read more...