5th annual State conference of Nyayavadi Parishad concludes

Understanding all nuances of Indian legal system is not the cup of tea of every citizen. Proper guidance from lawyers will go a long way to take forward the people's movement and in the restoration or protection of rights of the poor, according to Sompeta anti-thermal power plant activist Y. Krishna Murthy.

Addressing delegates at the valedictory of the 5th annual State conference of Nyayavadi Parishad here on Sunday, Dr. Krishna Murthy said it was the legal expertise of Rithwik Dutta of New Delhi and High Court lawyer K.S. Murthy helped them launch a meaningful fight against the government and the Nagarjuna Construction Company while their lands were being acquired for a thermal power project.

He recounted his experience of spearheading the Sompeta anti-power plant movement with intelligentsia of the area that had very little knowledge on how to put forward their case for saving ‘Beela' fresh water swamp which was the livelihood source for thousands of farmers and fishermen.

Thanking lawyers, non-governmental organisations like Forum for Better Visakha, Samata and activist-turned-journalist J.V. Ratnam for feeding them with all the intricacies of fighting for their cause legally at different fora, he said the government and the company had violated all norms of Thermal Manual, which became their strength.

Exhorting the lawyers to bring such awareness among people in other areas of Andhra Pradesh along sea coast where 18 more such projects were being proposed, Nyayavadi Parishad office-bearer K.S. Murthy appreciated the medical practitioner for taking up a people's cause by familiarising himself with all legal aspects.

Mines, Minerals and People Chairperson Rebbbapragada Ravi in his address to the gathering on ‘how does the role of advocates change the life of helpless communities', highlighted the achievements of Samata in stopping the proposed mining for limestone, quartz and mica at two million-year-old Borra caves.

Tribals' fight

“It was the tribals' fight from 1942 to stop quarrying, which bore fruit only in 1993 with the NGO putting their demands in right legal perspective as per the provisions of the Constitution,” he said pointing out that tribal culture, education and unwritten law was carried orally.

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