Pune villagers win a final victory over 'notorious' Dow Chemical

We have just received news from Shashi Sonawane, the National Convenor of the Yuva Bharat organisation.

Friends,

Yesterday on 7th September, 2010, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) filed affidavit in the Bombay High Court in which it has produced a letter submitted by the notorious Dow Chemicals seeking permission to surrender the 100 acres land in Shinde-Vasuli.

In 2007, the government had handed over the 100 acres of gairan land (common grazing land) of the Shinde- Vasuli near Dehu, Pune to the notorious Dow Chemicals for establishing the so-called world class R&D centre. Since then the villagers under the leadership of Justice B.G.Kolse-Patil and Com. Vilas Sonawane have been fighting against the notorious Dow Chemicals. The villagers through Bhamchandragad Warkari Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti supported by Lokshasan Andolan, Yuva Bharat, had stopped the construction work at the site since 16th January 2008. Both the central govt. and the state govt. tried its level best to start the Dow’s project. As you all know Dow Chemicals has a great history of genocide. It has produced most lethal chemical weapons for the American establishment which were used against Vietnamese people and others who stood agaisnt American imperialism. Our rulers instead of listening to the concerns and complaints of the citizens of India were more worried about the goodwill of Dow Chemicals and US govt.

The situation took ugly turn when under the garb of High Court to provide police protection to the site, the govt. tried to suppress the peaceful non-violent agitation of the villagers on 24th July, 2008. To this the Warkaris, which is the most respected sect of Bhakti movement reacted strongly and in order to protect Dehu and the common people, Warkaris under the leadership of Banda Tatya Karadkar Maharaj and Vyasan Mukta Yuvak Sangh (a youth organisation of warkaris) destroyed the incomplete construction at the site on 25th July, 2008. Since then for all practical purposes, the warkaris, peasants had thrown out the notorious Dow Chemicals. It was probably for the first time in its history that Dow Chemicals was hooted out in such a humiliating way.

Finally, Dow Chemicals had to bow before the will of the Warkaris & farmers. It had to formally withdraw from Pune which it has done now through its letter to MIDC. However the struggle shall continue till the ownership of the land is restored to the village panchayat of Shinde-Vasuli and the Bhopal victims are given justice.

We as Yuva Bharat organisation reiterate our stand to fight against the notorious corporate sharks like Dow Chemicals to protect the environment and livelihood of the toling masses.

Shinde-Vasuli women protest against Dow Chemical's presence
Warkari leader Banda Tatya Karadkar addresses a meeting
Former Supreme Court Justice Kolse-Patil
Yuva Bharat leader Shashi Sonawane speaks
Villagers and Warkaris before their landmark victory
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