#NoToBarsuRefinery: Protestors manhandled and arrested, activist re-arrested after attaining bail

Despite the government's use of restrictive measures, protesters are still refusing to give up and are fighting to safeguard their livelihood.
Image Courtesy: india.postsen.com

On April 26, a day after local protests flared up against the proposed refinery project and the surveys scheduled for soil testing in Ratnagiri’s Barsu village, disturbing visuals of protesting villagers being manhandled by the police have been coming. A video has been shared by a local journalist, who had been covering the Barsu refinery project issue, where protesters, especially women can be seen getting detained and put into buses, and then being shifted from the area to Ratnagiri, the district town.

The video can be viewed here:

In another video, the police can be seen threatening the villagers to vacate the area to forcefully conduct the surveys.

The video can be viewed here:

Even during this deadly heat wave, the protesting women had come out in large numbers and were exercising their right to protest and dissent in order to protect their land, nature and livelihood. And yet, they were being illegally detained and being transferred.

The video can be viewed here:

Poor villagers, who are mostly indulged in the occupation of farming, have been protesting against the said project for two years. Speaking to a local journalist, one such protesting farmer stated “They have given us externment notices, they have barred some of us from our own district. During night, they are entering our houses, is it right to serve notice at night? You come in the morning, give notice, take people but you come at midnight 1 am- 2am and harass people?” He further said that “I live in the jungle, police entered my house at midnight, and my wife was alone there, when police left she fell down in dizziness. They put a notice on my house, who am I? I am a simple farmer. Why did they put a notice on my house? Show me one reason for it!”

Not willing to succumb to the oppressive tactics of the government, the protestor then says “Just because I am opposing the project, I am at fault? My panchayat has already given you the resolution! I will fight for my land! My fight for my land will continue!”

The video can be viewed here:

As reported in the Times of India, a total 111 protestors were picked up by police on Tuesday. As per the information provided, three Mumbai-based activists were among those arrested and released by a court in Lanja. As is being alleged, the police had dropped them off at Panvel. It is also essential to note that Activist Satyajit Chavan, who had been detained by the Ratnagiri Police was released on bail but has been arrested again on different charges. Allegedly, the sections of Indian Penal Code that have been invoked against him are- 143 (Punishment for Unlawful Assembly), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (offences against public tranquillity), 314 (intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child,), 109 (Punishment of abetment), 186 (voluntary obstruction of public servant in discharge of public functions), and 188 (Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant). He has now been taken to the Rajapur Court.

On April 22, activists Satyajit Chavan and Mangesh Chavan, who have been actively involved in the movement against the Barsu-Solgaon refinery project in villages in Ratnagiri district’s Rajapur taluka, were detained by Ratnagiri police. The above-mentioned activists were placed in preventive detention, according to Ratnagiri Police Station In-Charge, as the administration was set to begin a survey of the proposed area for the refinery in the Barsu-Solgaon surroundings, something that the villagers have been opposing vehemently for the past two years.


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