Gregory ends hunger strike

Supporters resolve not to allow MSEZ-II phase at farmers cost

Gregory ends hunger strike

Gregory Patrao breaking his fast by sipping tender coconut offered by Sandeepani Math Seer Esha Vittal Das Swamiji outside Deputy Commissioner’s office on Sunday.
While Gregory sipped tender coconut offered by Sandeepani Math seer Esha Vittal Das Swamiji outside Deputy Commissioner’s office, which witnessed 25 days of relay hunger strike, it was not just Gregory who beamed a smile but hundreds of his supports who stood by him all these days smiled and were seen in a festive mood.

What was remarkable was the fact that the fast ended on the day Kudbis from the region, yet another victim of MSEZ and industrialisation were to stage protest with Gregory. About 12 Kudbi families came from Kudbipadau, Bajpe to take part in the protest and Gregory’s victory only raised their hopes of getting justice because they too are peddling restlessly through same situation as Gregory.

Addressing the reporters, Gregory said: “I am a farmer who sows seeds with hopes of getting good yield but there is no compulsion that the seeds should germinate. It can be dead too but what is important is the faith while sowing. I started this protest with the same hope of getting justice. CM has assured to ask Regional Commissioner to hold inquiry. I have kept the same faith on the CM,” said Gregory and added that he had lot of inhibitions while starting the protest but people have cleared him off all his inhibition by giving him outstanding support. “People have not let a farmer lose his battle. As many as 43 organisations have supported me,” he said, paying gratitude to each and every organisation and individuals for their response.

Answering a query on whether he sees any political gimmick in the assurance, Gregory said that he is an optimist. “I will still request the Government to allow me to stay in this land. If that is not possible, then the plan of action will be looked at,” he said.

Sandeepani Math Seer Esha Vittaldas Swamiji said that there are no regrets that elected representatives or officials did not have the courtesy to come and ask Gregory what he wants because at the end, Chief Minister himself had the heart to inquire about Gregory.

Elected

The gathering elected Gregory Patrao as the President of Karavali Karnataka Janabhivridhi Vedike unanimously and asked him to lead the group further.

However, the people gathered at the venue resolved that they would not allow II Phase of MSEZ to materialise at the cost of farmers. They said that Gregory’s will be the last incident of this sort in the district. They also said that Regional Commissioner Jayanthi will be visiting Gregory on Thursday.

 “If the visit does not yield results then we will continue our struggle,” supporters of Gregory said.

While no elected representatives other than MLA U T Khader visited Gregory over 25 days, visit of Organic Mission Chairman A S Anand showed hopes to Gregory.

Rightly, Anand who had promised that Saturday will be the last day of Gregory’s protest, stood by his words by taking Gregory’s pleas to CM and making him act on it.

‘Fed up of sacrifice’

This is the tale of a family which has persistently been victimised in the name of development.

Mary Patrao, Gregory’s mother had lost 2.40 acre land for Konkan Railway in Thokur village. The family has lost 2.62 acre at Thokur for Jasco, which was later handed over to Nagarjuna project.   KIADB notifies Patraos’ 14.27 land in 1984 for MRPL. In 1996, MRPL takes away 52 cents out of 14.27 acre. In 2009, 1.45 acre land was acquired for UPCL.
In 1996 first notification of 4.38 acre in Kalavaru for MRPL took place. In 2000, KIADB returned 4.38 acre because MRPL did not need it. He moved to court in 2009 over this 4.38 acres. In 2006, first notification for 14.27 acre land came in three batches (6.99 acre, 4.38 and 2.90 acre). Gregory moved the High Court in 2007 for the 6.99 acre (one of the three batches) and got a stay. He moved to HC in 2010 over 2.90 acre. While certified copies of the judgement of the three cases have not come out, the state hastily, coercively threw the house out of its land.

For all this sacrifice, not even one of the Patrao family members have been given employment as assured earlier. Fed up of this, the Patraos have now decided that enough is enough and its time for change.

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