Indian police stop mass protest against land grabs

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More than 1,100 women from 20 villages joined the meeting in Sabarkhanth district on January 10, 2015 to demand living wage rights.
IUF | 12 January 2015

Indian police stop mass protest against land grabs

Police have suppressed a mass protest against Indian government plans to legalize corporate land grabs. The protest was planned for January 11, the opening day of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, where representatives of governments and over 500 transnational corporations are gathering to discuss "investment" in Gujarat. Small farmers and agricultural workers are worried that the Summit is a platform to encourage land grabbing.

Authorities deployed police in rural districts to stop thousands of farmers and workers reaching the venue. Over 200 people were detained including Indukumar Jani, General Secretary of the IUF- affiliated Gujarat Agricultural Labour Union. Jani was later released.

In December 2014, the Central Government amended the Land Acquisition Act to eliminate clauses requiring both farmers to consent to land sales and a mandatory social impact assessment thus removing any possibility for small farmers to reject the acquisition of their land by corporations or government. 

Below - the day before the mass protest Paulomee Mistry, Vice President of GALU,
explains to a meeting of women agricultural workers how corporate land grabs
threaten rural livelihoods. Hidayat Greenfield, IUF Asia Pacific regional secretary also attended the meeting.
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IUF | 11 January 2015

INDIA: Thousands of women agricultural workers mobilize to demand living wage rights

In the lead up to International Women's Day 2015 thousands of women agricultural workers in Gujarat are holding mass meetings at district level to promote living wage rights.

The meetings are organized by Khet Mazdoor Sangh which is affiliated to the Gujarat Agricultural Labour Union (GALU), a member of IUF.

Among the rights demanded is equal pay for equal work and an end to wage discrimination between men and women. Greater protection of the rights of women who are the sole wage-earners in their families - including widowed women - will be promoted as vital to overcoming poverty wages, insecurity and discrimination.

The meetings also raise awareness of the campaign to defend the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and opposition to legal reforms that threaten increased corporate land grabs.
Original source: IUF
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