Environment Activist Beaten up - Protest sign now

Congress Party leader's goons in Raigad District Beat up Environmental Activist

14 June 2004

To
Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde
Chief Minister
Government of Maharashtra State
Mantralay, MUMBAI 400 032

Subject: Congress Party leader's goons in Raigad District Beat up Environmental Activist

Dear Shri Shinde,

This is to lodge our strongest protest against the manhandling and beating up of an environmental activist Ms Sumaira Abdulali by the son and goons of Congressman - Madhu Thakur on 25 May 2004 at Kihim near Alibag in Raigad District.

Ms Sumaira Abduali had attempted to prevent the carrying away of sand mined illegally from the beach of Kihim by the son and other henchmen of the sand mafia leader Madhu Thakur by blocking the access road to the beach with her car at about midnight, awaiting the government authority to come and aprehend the culprits red handed.

She was beaten up and her car smashed and pushed aside to enable the trucks to escape.

As CM of the State, you are urged to take strictest penal action against this father-son duo, for causing harm to the environment and assaulting the activist by enforcing the Law without fear or favour. The Congress Party leadership is also urged to expell them for the deed they have perpetrated.

May this act of yours be a signal to all other Congress leaders and party workers and any one else that no one is above the law and acting unlawfully or not in the interest of the citizens or the environment would never be tolerated.

To date (14 June 2004) we have not read or heard any response from the Government of Maharashtra on this matter.

We hope you would treat this matter with the urgency it deserves.

Regards

Sudhir Badami
Concerned Citizen's Forum In India (CCFII)


PS: The incident was well reported in the Times of India dated 26 May 2004. The same is available on the website URL http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/698763.cms and it is being reproduced below for your quick reference.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
cc:
Union Government of India

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [email protected]>
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh

[email protected]>
Minister of Home Affairs Shri Shivraj Patil
Minister of Environment & Forests A. Raja [email protected]>

State Government of Maharashtra

CM Sushilkumar Shinde [email protected]>
Dy CM Vijaysinha Mohite-Patil [email protected]>
Home Minister Raosaheb Ramrao Patil [email protected]>
Environment Forest Minister S H Naik [email protected]>

Indian National Congress:

President AICC: Smt Sonia Gandhi [email protected]>
President BPCC: Shri Gurudas Kamat [email protected]>
President MPCC: Shri Ranjit Deshmukh

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Activist beaten up by Alibag sand mafia
RADHA RAJADHYAKSHA

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2004 01:16:56 AM ]

MUMBAI: In a shocking incident, a woman activist of the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) was beaten up on Monday night allegedly by the sand-dredging mafia for attempting to stop it from carting away sand from Kihim Beach.

Sumaira Abdulali, the BEAG activist, went to the beach at around midnight after she received a telephone call that three trucks were being filled with sand. "I went and parked my car across the narrow road to stop the trucks from leaving," she said in a telephonic interview from Kihim.

"Minutes after, local Congress leader Madhu Thakur's son and three other men turned up and threatened me. When I refused to budge, they hurled a rock and smashed my car window, dragged me out and bashed me up. They then lifted the car physically and dumped it on one side so that the trucks could drive out.'' The police and additional collector, who Abdulali had telephoned before going to the beach, arrived after the men had driven away.

"All the trucks had 'Thakur Brothers' painted on them,'' said Abdulali, who, after getting her injuries treated, lodged an FIR at the police station. The environmentalist has also lodged a civil complaint with the tehsildar about the sand-dredging.

Madhu Thakur was unavailable for comment despite repeated phone calls to his residence. The police claim his son is untraceable.

Sand-dredging activities, which have been going on for years in Alibag, are allegedly controlled by Congress MLA Pappu Kalani, NCP strongman Ganesh Naik and Congressman Madhu Thakur. A Supreme Court ruling of 2002, which stopped the collector from issuing sand mining licences in the Konkan area, brought a brief respite.

But dredging activities began in full swing again last year after the collector, S D Shinde, was transferred. "After the activity began again, several letters of complaint were written to the new collector, Bhaskar Wankhede,'' said Abdulali.

"When I met him recently, he said that he couldn't do anything till the culprits were caught redhanded. Well, that's what we did on Monday night, and this was the result.'' The collector was out of town and additional collector Subhash Dumbare was unavailable for comment.

Additional SP K G Patil, when contacted, said that inquiries were under way. When asked whether the police had arrested Thakur's son, who was mentioned in the FIR, Patil claimed he was not traceable. "We will arrest him as soon as we find him", he said.

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Margaret SinghBy:
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Petition target:
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