Maharashtra govt bows before Medha Patkar; fast ends

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Medha Patkar
Mumbai, May 28: Medha Patkar, who was protesting against the demolishing of slums in Mumbai, ended her indefinite strike on Saturday, May 28 after the Maharashtra government agreed to her demands.

Medha decided to end her fast on ninth day after the Maharashtra government agreed to stay the demolition of the house in the Ganeshkripa Society in Santa Cruz till Jun 15.

"Medha has ended her fast after Collector Nirmal Deshmukh came up with a notification this afternoon. They have agreed to her demands," Madhuresh Kumar, a member of National Alliance of Peoples' Movement (NAPM) and Patkar's associate said.

Medha started her fasting in Golibar slum area of Mumbai on May 20 alleging that the governement has handed over 140 acres of land to a private builder. Medha claimed that the signatures of the slum dwellers that appear on the letters of consent signed by the slum dwellers for a slum rehabilitation project at Golibar are forged.

Responding to Medha's demand to remove Maharashtra Slum Areas Act, 1971, Clause 3K, which states that the state government can take over land without the consent of slum dwellers, Maharashtra government decided to constitute two new joint committees with representatives of the civil society.

One of the committees will investigate Ganesh Kripa Housing society issue and will submit its report on Jun 15, 2011. The second committee will inquire 15 slum areas where Clause 3K of the Maharashtra Slum Act has been used and submit a report in four months.

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