Sugathakumari demands judicial probe into alleged violation of laws

The Anti-Aranmula Airport Coordination Committee, chaired by poet and social activist Sugathakumari, has resolved to launch an indefinite satyagraha at Aranmula on February 2, the World Wetlands Day, against the proposed airport project there.

This was announced by Ms. Sugathakumari in her inaugural address at a popular convention at Aranmula on Thursday against the government’s favourable stance on the project.

Ms. Sugathakumari called upon the villagers to strive for reviving paddy cultivation in Aranmula Puncha and thereby restoring the rich agrarian tradition of the heritage village.

A pledge to revive paddy farming in Aranmula Puncha and to continue the indefinite satyagraha planned from February 2 “till the private airport company was packed off from the soil of Aranmula’’was taken at the convention.

The poet read out the pledge.

Call to revive farming

She asked the government to take steps to revive paddy cultivation in Aranmula Puncha, instead of “supporting all sorts of anti-nature and anti-farming activities in the name of a private airport project which was out-rightly rejected by the people of Aranmula.”

Ms. Sugathakumari also called for a judicial inquiry into the violation of laws that had taken place in the name of the airport project.

LDF stance

Addressing the convention, T.M. Thomas Isaac, former Finance Minister; Mullakkara Ratnakaran, former Agriculture Minister, and N.K. Premachandran, former Water Resources Minister, said that the alleged violations of laws and rules, if any, taken place during the previous Left Democratic Front rule too should be brought under the proposed judicial probe.

Dr. Isaac said the previous LDF government had never written any letter of consent to the Union government with regard to the airport project. Even the in-principle clearance given by the previous LDF government had specifically stated that it should be in strict compliance with the prevailing laws of the land, he said.

Violation of laws

But, the Oomen Chandy government that assumed power later had ventured into all sorts of violation of the key laws of the land in favour of the land mafia in Aranmula, he alleged.

Instead of correcting the flaws, if any, committed by the previous governments, the UDF government was taking the mistakes of the previous governments as a ploy to support the land mafia in Aranmula, Mr. Ratnakaran and Mr. Premachandran said.

P. Gopalankutty Master, action council general convener, presided over the convention.

P. Prasad, Communist Party of India district secretary; K. Ananthagopan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary; T.R. Ajithkumar, Bharatiya Janata Party district president; Harry Lal, Aam Aadmi Party leader; and Kummanam Rajashekharan, Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council chief patron, spoke at the convention.

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