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Woman's protest against sand mining draws attention

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, August 26, 2013, DHNS: 0:57 IST
Jazeera during her sit-in protest in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
Twenty five days into her agitation against sand mining lobbies in front of the state Secretariat, Jazeera V is finally finding support building around her.

With social activists urging the state government to take note of her lonely battle against illegal sand mining along the Neerozhukkumchal beach in Kannur, Jazeera is perhaps getting closer to what she calls delayed justice.

On Monday, state Mahila Congress president Bindu Krishna visited the protest spot and promised Jazeera an interaction with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Jazeera, a mother of three, has thanked supporters and acknowledged proposals of mediation but would rather talk “directly” with authorities. The chief minister has already met Jazeera and assured her action but she has insisted on a written statement with details of the action plan.

Jazeera’s protests in front of the Pazhayangadi police station and the Kannur district collectorate had led to a police-aid post at the inland beach. However, she has been pushing for more stringent corrective measures against the violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules across the state. She commenced her sit-in protest in front of the Secretariat on August 2.

According to the state unit of the Welfare Party of India (WPI) that has been backing Jazeera’s struggle, the aid post has not produced results. “We have visited the beach after the police-aid post was put in place. While there is a restriction on transporting sand off the beach in baskets, mass transportation of sand in trucks is still on in other parts of the panchayat,” Sreeja Neyyattinkara, state secretary of WPI, told Deccan Herald.

However, Jazeera has not found adequate support from her hometown. Residents’ associations and the district administration have stayed clear and there have been allegations of her raking up a non-existent issues to favour parties with vested interests. DH News Service

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