Thursday, December 22, 2011

[ZESTCaste] 'Govt 'spineless', have textile mill vacated'

'Govt 'spineless', have textile mill vacated'
Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, December 22, 2011

Censured by the Bombay high court for being "spineless" and
"ridiculous", the Maharashtra government on Thursday assured that it
would try to amicably settle the issue of the recent encroachment of a
textile mill in central Mumbai by followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar,
failing which the squatters
will be evicted.

"Government will make efforts to settle the issue and get the
followers to vacate the mill premises voluntarily within a week. If
the government does not succeed then the encroachers would be evicted
forcibly within three days thereafter," additional government pleader
GW Mattos told the court.

A division bench of justices DK Deshmukh and AV Mohta was hearing a
petition filed by the National Textile Corporation (NTC) seeking
directions to Mumbai police and state government to evict the
encroachers who forced their way into the India United Mill compound
on December 6 demanding an Ambedkar memorial there.

The statement was made after the court came down heavily on the
government for its inaction against the encroachers. "We are in
complete dismay over the stand adopted by the government. Why are you
(government) supporting this blatant illegality? Government is
spineless and has reduced itself to a ridiculous situation," justice
Deshmukh said.

The court's remark came when it was informed that the government has
initiated dialogue with the activists from various factions and is
negotiating the matter. "There is no question of negotiation. You
should remove them by force. Would you (government) have held
negotiations with the terrorists who entered Taj hotel also? The mob
has illegally entered a land which belongs to the government of
India," the bench said.

Counsels for the Anandraj Ambedkar-led Republican Sena told the court
that they were ready to give an undertaking that the activists would
voluntarily vacate the premises if the Centre made a statement that a
portion of the land would be given to construct the memorial.

Irked by this, justice Deshmukh said, "How can you threaten the
government like this? You have made your point and got attention. Now
you should voluntarily go away. Politicians will support you as they
always want their share of attention."

There was heavy police deployment outside the high court premises
following rumours that RPI activists would stage a protest there.

The two houses of Maharashtra legislature had recently adopted a
resolution asking the Centre to hand over the entire 12.5 acres of
INDU Mills land to the state government for Ambedkar Memorial.

The resolution was moved by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan following
a heated debate over Centre's offer of just four acres of the land of
the mills for the memorial.

INDU Mills is located next to Chaityabhoomi where Ambedkar was
cremated. Chaityabhoomi, over the years, has become a shrine of sorts
for his followers.


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