Monday, August 10, 2015

Illegal building, mining: Activist attacked for moving HC // Yogendra Yadav manhandled by Delhi police in farmers' protest

Tuesday, 11 August 2015: Lawyer and RTI activist Subhash Mohapatra has filed an FIR at the Khandagiri police station alleging that builders’ men and mining mafia have ransacked his residence-cum-office in Khandagiri on Sunday evening for trying to expose the builders’ and mining mafias’ illegal activities by filing PILs in the Odisha High Court.

Two miscreants barged into the rented office of Mohapatra at around 5 pm on Sunday and destroyed household articles and assaulted two persons present there at that time. Mohapatra was not present in the house during the mishap. The Khandagiri police are yet to nab the culprits. Mohapatra alleged that builders and mining mafias have been targeting him after he had filed two PILs at the High Court seeking its intervention for expeditious action against unauthorised construction of apartments and high-rise buildings in Bhubaneswar within a stipulated time and also over nonpayment of around `715 crore by 111 mining leaseholders working in the State for using forestland for non-forestry purpose.

The High Court has admitted the PILs and directed the Government to act accordingly. “The Khandagiri police are yet to register my case. Ironically, the mining mafia and some builders’ men are threatening me to withdraw the police complaint in the presence of police officials,” alleged Mohapatra.

NEW DELHI:  Activist Yogendra Yadav, who spent the night in police custody after being detained late last night from a farmer protest, was dragged by policemen this morning as he tried to speak to the media. Mr Yadav had barely started speaking when he had his supporters were pushed away by personnel at the Parliament Street police station, where he was kept all night. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) colleague, tweeted: "I strongly condemn the treatment meted out to Yogendraji by Delhi police. They were protesting peacefully. It is their fundamental right."

The 51-year-old activist, who was expelled from the ruling party earlier this year, alleged that he was "beaten up, manhandled" at the police station. Tweeting a picture of himself with a torn sleeve as proof of his allegations, he said, I have been beaten up, manhandled, dragged, pushed and arrested at the parliament street police station. Mr Yadav, who founded the Swaraj Abhiyan along with lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, alleged that he had rushed to the protest site after learning about a police crackdown on farmers who, he said, were holding a "peaceful" protest. "We found out just now that police has tried to stop our hal (ploughshare) satyagraha with heavy force. We are not doing anything wrong," he told reporters. Mr Yadav alleged that he was later bundled into a police van along with other demonstrators and taken to the police station.

Mr Yadav has been leading a protest by farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan against the government's proposal to change the way farm land is acquired for infrastructure projects. They had led a 'tractor protest' near the Delhi border on Sunday night, where police had prevented the tractors from entering the city. The protesters had continued on to Jantar Mantar in the heart of New Delhi.