NATIONAL YATRA AGAINST NUCLEAR ENERGY FROM TARAPUR TO JAITAPUR

Dear friends,

To extend support to the heroic struggle of the people of Madban and nearby villages against the government proposal to set up the Jaitapur Nuclear Plant with dangerous EPR reactors imported from France, a TARAPUR TO JAITAPUR YATRA is being organised from 23 to 25 April, 2011. The struggle has acquired particular urgency after the catastrophic nuclear accident in Japan which has only highlighted the terrible dangers associated with nuclear energy. In the wake of the Japan accident, struggles against nuclear plants and uranium mining have intensified all over the country, with people organising powerful demonstrations in Kudankulam, Gorakhpur in Haryana, Haripur, Rawatbhata, and Jadugoda. The struggle going on in Jaitapur is obviously a part of this all-India struggle, and the aim of this YATRA is also to support all these struggles going on all over the country, and representatives from all these struggles will be joining us for this YATRA.

You would be aware of the savage repression unleashed by the government on the people in Jaitapur region. The govt has promulgated prohibitory orders prohibiting people from holding meetings and demonstrations under Section 144 of the CrPC and Section 37 of the Bombay Police Act. It has resorted to lathi-charges, beatings, indiscriminate arrests, registering of false cases against hundreds of men, women and even children – including the atrocious charge of ‘attempt to murder’ on many of them. Thousands of people have courted arrest, and many have spent several nights in jail on trumped up charges. Leading activists of the area have been issued externment notices from Ratnagiri district. Eminent citizens of the region who have extended support to the struggle, including former Supreme Court Judge P. B. Sawant, retired Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ramdas and noted economist Dr. Sulabha Brahme, have been prevented from entering the district! The government is using every trick in the book to divide the people and break their will, by trying to split them along communal lines, labeling activists as Maoists and ‘outsiders’ with an ideological agenda, setting up police camps in the area to intimidate the people, issuing threats, and so on. However, the people are standing firm and have refused to be cowed down! They are united in their resolve that come what may, they will fight, till the plant is cancelled!!

We urgently need to support this struggle, and so this National YATRA.

A National Committee has been formed to lead this YATRA, comprising of:

Radha Bhatt, Delhi (Convenor)

Prof. Banwarilal Sharma, Allahabad

Vandana Shiva, Delhi

Praful Bidwai, Delhi

Bhai Vaidya, Pune

N. D. Patil, Mumbai

Apart from these, many eminent citizens have confirmed their participation for this YATRA. They include, among others, Prof. Anil Sadgopal (Bhopal), Dr. S. P. Udaykumar (Nagercoil), Prof. Haragopal (Hyderabad), Soumya Dutta (Delhi), Rajiv Lochan Shah (Nainital), Shamsher Singh Bisht (Uttarakhand), Father Thomas Kocherry (Trivandrum), Mathani Saldhana (Goa), Dunu Roy (Delhi), Satinath Sarangi (Bhopal), Nityanand Jayaraman (Chennai), Prof. Trilochan Shastri (Bangalore), to name a few. Activists from Jadugoda, Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and Mithivirdi in Gujarat and Haripur in West Bengal, where people are fighting against nuclear plants and uranium mining, have also confirmed their participation in the Yatra. Many activists and intellectuals from Pune and Mumbai, including Justice P. B. Sawant, Justice Kolse Patil, Rambhau Patil, G. G. Parekh, Uday Bhatt and Sanober Kishwar will also be there. And then of course, activists from Tarapur who have been fighting the impact of the Tarapur nuclear plant on the livelihoods of the people living around the plant, and activists from Jaitapur, including Vaishali Patil, Pravin Gavankar, Amjad Borkar, Vivek Bhide, to name a few, will of course be there.

We call upon you to join us for this important YATRA. The dates and plan for the yatra are:

Dates: April 23, Saturday to April 25, Monday

Time of starting: Morning 10 am, April 23, from Tarapur, near Mumbai

Route:

23 April: From Tarapur to Thane to Panvel (Yusuf Meherally Centre)

24 April: From Panvel to Mangaon (lunch stop) to Chiplun (Night Halt)

25 April: From Chiplun to Ratnagiri to Madban-Mithgavane-Sakhri Nate

Return: We will return to Mumbai on the morning of April 26, so you can book your return tickets on April 26 evening or April 27.

We will be going by Buses and cars-jeeps, stopping on the way to hold roadside meetings. The total distance is going to be roughly 600 kms.

If you wish to join us for this yatra, you are requested to reach Mumbai on the evening of April 22 or early morning of April 23. Depending upon your time of arrival, we will either take you to Tarapur which is a 3 hour journey from Mumbai (Dadar) or you will join the Yatra at Thane, where there would be a big public meeting at 4 pm.

For joining us for this Yatra, you are requested to reach Dadar at the following address:

Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan, near Rabindra Natya Mandir, Leningrad Chowk, Prabhadevi, Dadar West, Mumbai.

For reaching Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan, you can take a taxi from Dadar. Dadar has both East and West sides, so come to the West side, and then take the taxi. The taxi wil take roughly Rs. 30 or less. We will receive you at Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan. If you have any difficulty in finding the place, you may call us:

Reception committee: Neeraj Jain – 94222 20311 ; Sujit Patil – 90283 41137

If you are coming to the Yatra, please confirm your participation by calling us at any of the following phone numbers:

Neeraj Jain – 094222 20311

Vaishali Patil – 094226 96976

Abhijit M. – 094223 08125

Prof. Banwarilal Sharma – 092354 06243

or you can email us at:

neerajj61@gmail.com

azadi.bachao.andolan@gmail.com

Looking forward to your participation in this yatra,

in solidarity,

Neeraj,

Lokayat , Pune

Ph. 9422220311

APPEAL FOR FUNDS

Dear all,

The total expenses for the Yatra are going to be huge, as there will be more than 150 people in the Yatra. We expect the budget to cross Rs. 1 lakh. So we request you for large hearted donations for this Yatra. You can send us your contributions by cheques or money orders, and can send them to Allahabad to Prof. Banwarilal Sharma, of Azadi Bachao Andolan, or you can send to us at Pune in the name of Trupti Joshi (we do not have a Lokayat account).

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