21 May 2011

Seven bullets for Tapan Dutta

Just had this from my dear friend from West Bengal, Debal Deb.

This is green politics on most of the planet, defend a wetland and get bullet in the head.

Vital ecosystems, for example, a wetland that stops disasterous flooding, are converted into cash.

People are displaced.

Commercial interest work with corrupt officials and those who stand for what is right are killed and tortured.

The media takes little notice.

It is shameful that Green and environmental organisation so rarely draw attention to this process.

India here in this example but right across the world from Russia to El Salvador, Paraguay to Papua.

Human freedom = Species Survival = ecology = one struggle and one fight!


Dear Friends,

You may be aware that the former Howrah District Youth Trinamul Congress President, Tapan Dutta was fighting to save the wetland near Bali - Jagacha in Howrah District. A portion of the 750 Acre wetland was being filled up illegally by some corporate houses like Anmol, DLF etc. with the connivance of local authorities and district administration. At a later stage, filing up activities started in the other portion for the proposed Railway Coach Factory. Most of the canals have been blocked, drains got choked. The whole area gets inundated in monsoons. Tapan Dutta was very much concerned with the civic nuisance caused by water logging in the adjacent areas.

He with his friends and associates formed "Bali Jagacha Jala Bhumi Bachao Committee" and made series of appeals, organised deputations. At a later stage they filed a case at the Calcutta High Court. Accepting their demand partially, the High Court passed an interim order prohibiting filling up of any water body in that area (there were/are several large and medium water bodies in this wetland). But filling up continued in a massive way. The Committee demanded implementation of the High Court Order, developed active resistance against filling up, organised demonstrations and road block.

All these were affecting the vested interest of promoter-mafia group. They were both threatened and offered bribe. But Tapan Dutta with very few associates continued the struggle relentlessly. He was assassinated on 6th May, 2011 at 9.40 PM at Bali Railway crossing gate. Several bullets pierced him from point blank range.

Let us salute him, salute his uncompromising struggle. Let us demand a proper inquiry of this murder so that the real culprits are booked. Let us try to save the remaining wetland in particular and all wetlands, water bodies and channels in West Bengal which are under threat. Let us discuss our future course of action.

Nagarik Mancha, Akhon Bisongbad, Gana Udyog, APDR Bali, Purba Kolkata Paribesh Samikhsan, DISHA

(Due to time constraint the mail is being circulated by those who have already consented to be joint convener. Please feel free to add your/your organisation's name as convener and circulate. Please invite all your friends to attend the meeting.)

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