Sunday, May 19, 2013
Last Updated: 18 May 21:00 PM IST
3 May 2012
statesman news service
KOLKATA, 3 MAY: Eleven people who were arrested after a clash at Nonadanga last Saturday have been granted bail in a judgement at Alipore Court today. The group ~ made up of six women and five men ~ will be released on the condition that the bail amount of Rs 5,000 per person be paid.
Manav Kalyan Pratisthan (MKP) secretary, Mr Amitava Bhattacharya, one of those at the helm of the anti-eviction campaign, said, “Our victory has been achieved. The prosecution wanted to send all of those arrested to jail, but our lawyer fought very well. He appealed to the judge about the bail amount, saying that these people are daily wage workers, but we are collecting donations from supporters of the anti-eviction movement to ensure the immediate release of those arrested.”
The group has been held at Lalbazar since last Saturday, when police charged on a group of evictees who had broken a section of the fence constructed around the perimeters of their rebuilt shanty-huts by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). Evictees say that the fence blocked their path to the local shops.
The controversy around the Nonadanga evictees has prompted other groups to make demands for the provision of proper sanitation and water facilities for residents in the government buildings.
The Uchched Pratirodh Committee ~ who describe themselves as the “eviction resistance committee” ~ have released a pamphlet in which they write, “The conditions of basic civic services are beyond reprehensible. We do not have clean water, there is an acute crisis of water in general. There is no government-initiated school, college, health centre or hospital here.”
However, the chief minister has claimed that Maoists are inciting the slum dwellers at Nonadanga to resistance, and that “outsiders” involved in the anti-eviction campaign are attempting to take land from the poor.
Mr Bhattacharya said that the group will go back to Nonadanga this evening to rejoin their families as soon as they are released.