Statement of Support and Call to Action from the Madyha Pradesh Mahila Manch, a platform of women’s groups and individuals working for women’s rights

March 17, 2007
We condemn the police and the government for trying to crush peaceful protest and for their complete apathy towards the plight of the gas and water affected, and we condemn the way in which the police manhandled the fasters and illegally detained them. No one was allowed to meet the fasters in the hospital, and they have been kept under high-security and isolated from the fellow campaigners.
The government has turned a deaf ear to the logical and just demands of the gas and water affected people. After an initial meeting with the fasters a week back, there has been no subsequent positive response by the government. Instead on the morning of the 13 th day of the hunger strike, the police came in vans and forcibly took way the fasters and manhandled many of the men and women present there. The fasters were lifted from the dharna site and thrown into vans in the most brutal manner. The police also resorted to using force and making lewd sexual threats towards the women activists.
The fasters are continuing their fast even under ‘police custody’ and are continuously resisting intravenous drips. The fast thus continues, with people continuing on the dharna.
We, as various groups, who have been expressing our solidarity and have sat on relay hunger-strike with the fasters, demand that the fasters be immediately released and be allowed to continue their fast until their demands are met.
The groups call upon all citizens of Bhopal to extend their support to the agitation and pressurize the government to do justice to the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster.
Yuva Samvad, M.P. Mahila Manch,
Right to Food and other concerned citizens

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