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Updated: May 20, 2012 00:50 IST

RTI activist Akhil Gogoi begins fast-unto-death

Sushanta Talukdar
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Activist Akhil Gogoi.
Activist Akhil Gogoi.

Seeks release of arrested anti-mega-dam protesters, seeks public consensus on all projects

Right to Information activist and Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi began an indefinite fast at the Lakhidhar Bora Khetra here on Saturday demanding an end to the alleged repressive measures adopted by Assam on anti-Mega dam movement activists. He also demanded a halt to the construction of all mega river dams in the northeast till an assessment of the impact of the under-construction and proposed dams is done and a consensus arrived at through wide consultations with the people, the primary stakeholders.

Mr. Akhil Gogoi protested the eviction of anti-mega dam agitators who had set up a monitoring camp at Ghagar in Lakhimpur district to prevent arrival of construction materials at the site of the 2,000-MW Lower Subonsiri hydropower project. He demanded that the camp be allowed to be set up again at the Ghagar.

Leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), a peasants' rights body, Mr. Akhil Gogoi demanded immediate and unconditional release of those arrested during the agitation in Lakhimpur. Opposing the construction of mega dams on the rivers of the northeast, the RTI activist demanded that people of the region be given rights to the waters of the rivers flowing through the region. He told The Hindu that Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi called him and expressed their solidarity.

Political motive: CM

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who was out on an inspection tour of the city localities, accused Mr. Akhil Gogoi of having a political motive. The Chief Minister told journalists that Mr. Akhil Gogoi had been adopting contradictory positions and pointed out that on the one hand he was opposing the construction of mega dams on the ground that it would cause ecological destruction and on the other hand he was demanding settlement of encroachers on the city's hills and wetlands.

Mr. Akhil Gogoi recently announced his plans to float a non-parliamentary political party by 2016. The next Assembly elections are scheduled for 2016. The activist said his party would not be taking part in electoral politics, but would spearhead people's struggle towards achieving Gana Swaraj.

We stand by you Akhil n its time to know Ur freinds
Anna still couldn't manage to issue a statement....
he failed again to be with us......
Varun Can help us to know the studies since minister of ENV Jairam Ramesh wanted
to review all aprovals n in records said that no down stream studies were conducted.
.ofcourse he lost his job for this n Srimati Natarajan will not repeat for cause of her
party...
its serious n is a bigger scam....n conscequence bigger then d word disaster....i appeal
to people of india to stand with Akhil...bcoz if u fail again dont send ur army latter
when this democratic movement will become violent sessonist.

from:  Rudra
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 20:39 IST

Dam construction no doubt has its ill effects but one dam cannot be compared to other dams and thus such generalization is foolish. Moreover saying a thing like 'an exhaustive study was not done' is a naive comment. We have many bodies ranging from CEA, CWC, CERC, Dam safety organisations, Ministry of environment and forest etc who do extensive and exhaustive research for years, before even calling for tenders (Investigation for Tehri Dam started in 1961). Such acts are not only anti-development but also an insult on the hard work that many IAS, IES and other qualified policymakers put in. Having said that I also believe that every one in our country has the right to put forward their points freely and the agitators till they are peaceful deserve every bit of safety.

from:  Varun Varghese
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:40 IST

i appreciate your commitment to our people and our nation. it is really scary to hear that as many as 16 mega dams are planned for construction. With all the news and study of ill effects of dam construction propping up, it is daunting to hear that so many dams are constructed without an exhaustive study and consultation with the people of the land. I STAND WITH YOU

from:  sunil
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:44 IST
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