Ahmedabad, July 18: Demanding withdrawal of the controversial bill seeking to amend the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, a group of activists today announced they would be start a pan-India movement against forced land acquisition.
The announcement was made here today on the last day of a national convention of public movements related to land rights, held under the aegis of 'Bhumi Adhikar Andolan'.
Addressing a press conference after the convention ended, former MP from West Bengal and general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, Hannan Mollah, claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agricultural policies were the "worst" since the Independence.
"After a long struggle, the new Land Acquisition Act was legislated in 2013, which had some pro-farmer elements, such as prior consent, Social Impact Assessment and safeguards for food security. However, after assuming power, Modi-led government tried to amend it through the bill and through ordinance, so that benefits can be extended to corporates," said Mollah.
"The ordinance to amend the Act was promulgated thrice. Due to the widespread protests it was not promulgated for the fourth time. Withdrawal of the amendment Bill from Parliament is still pending, which is a matter of concern. So on August 10, we will meet the President and urge him to do the needful," Mollah said.
The convention saw participation of around 500 activists, including the Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar.
"Unless the bill is withdrawn, the Act of 2013 will not come into force. State governments are also not implementing it and grabbing lakhs of acres of land without giving fair compensation," alleged Mollah.
"It was decided in the convention that we will launch a movement in each state against such anti-farmer policies. We will also tell people that the so called Gujarat model of development is a myth, the people here are fighting against the government which takes their land and give it to corporates," said Mollah.