The Pashchimaghatta Janasamrakashana Samithi, Kozhikode, as part of its campaign against the implementation of the V.S. Gadgil and the K. Kasturirangan reports on Western Ghats protection, is on an indefinite hunger strike at the Kozhikode Collectorate from Wednesday.

Unscientific

The samithi alleged that the reports were unscientific, unrealistic, and anti-people, and hence demanded that they should be scrutinised and corrected.

It had adversely affected the lives of people residing in the high ranges of the State, the samithi alleged.

If the suggestions in the reports were implemented blindly, it would lead to a total annihilation of agriculture from the hilly regions that now contributed substantially to the State coffers.

The people living in these areas would ultimately be either hunted down by wild animals, or they would have to run away from their dearest possessions such as land and houses.

The samithi suggested that the reports should be discussed in the gramasabhas and altered to suit the needs of the terrain.

The agricultural areas, plantations and residential areas should be excluded from the tag of ‘Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA)’ to save the lives of people in the hilly areas, the samithi demanded.

The indefinite hunger strike in front of Kozhikode Collectorate was inaugurated by Vicar General of Thamarassery Diocese Monsignor Mathew Maveli while Chairman of the samithi Fr. Antony Kozhuvanal presided over the function.

The five persons who are on strike on behalf of the samithi are Fr. Aji Puthiyaparambil, Joy Kannanchira, O.D. Thomas, Lijo Kannanthara, and C.N. Purushothaman. Convenor of the samithi Chacko Kalamparambil was present. Former Minister P.C. Thomas visited the protestors on the first day.

The samithi has also planned a ‘Lamentation Rally’ and dharna by women on March 1 at the District Collectorate.

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