Strategy meeting on Life Imprisonment of Dr Sunilam
Date: 28th October 2012
Time: from 3 pm onwards
Venue: 5, B. R. Mehta Lane (Near K. G. Marg) New Delhi-110001
Imprisonment of Dr Sunilam, a socialist politician from Madhya Pradesh has been received with a sense of deep concern and dismay as part of a trend to silence voices of public interest by misleading the judiciary to save vested interests. Dr. Sunilam and two of his colleagues Shesh Rao Suryavanshi and Prahalad Aggarwal of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Samiti was demanding compensation for the destruction of their soya crop. The administration booked 250 farmers in 66 fake cases. Dr. Sunilam was accused of attempting to burn Inspector Sarnam Singh alive, of snatching a rifle from I.T. S.N. Katare in order to kill him and of killing the fire brigade driver Dhir Singh by assaulting him five times with a stone. The accusations are not true. The truth is that the police brutally repressed the farmers. This decision of the trial court, in fact, is a de facto decision of the neo-liberal establishment, of which Congress and BJP are the leading agents, threatening genuine people who oppose the corporate onslaught on farmers. Dr. Sunilam, Shesh Rao Suryavanshi and Prahalad Aggarwal are now imprisoned in the Bhopal jail.
Former legislator and President of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Dr Sunilam has led Kisan Andolans. Dr Sunilam has been part of Indian People's Movement against WTO and anti-corruption movement in the country.
On 12 January, 1998 was a black day for farmers’ movements. The State Government brutally crushed the non-violent farmers’ movement using the state police. Under a big conspiracy, State Police fired bullets and 24 farmers were martyred. In this incident, 150 farmers were injured due to bullet fire. The farmers of the district Betul had given a memorandum to circle office on 12 December, 1997. In this memorandum they demanded compensation for their damaged crops. But their effort remained unheeded. The state police continued its oppressive attitude towards farmers but on January 9, 1998 around 75000 farmers marched in Betul protested peacefully. The District Magistrate of Betul came forward and proposed compensation of only Rs. 400 per acre. This little amount was too insufficient to hurt the farmers’ sentiments. Agitated farmers were on the crossroad and on 11th January, 1998 they siege the Multai tehsil and all 450 villages of this tehsil. It was a historical Bandh. On 12th January 1998, farmer’s leader Dr. Sunilam decided to enter in tehsil but the state police had already ordered to shoot farmers Dr. Sunilam reached tehsil office and requested again and again to stop such firing but police authority did not heed his request.
Harassment of social activists on fake pretexts and conviction in fabricated cases has become a trend that merits the response of the sane legal, social and political minds to defang the bite of the strategic lawsuit against public participation.