As many of you are aware, on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th March some individuals affiliated with the Office of the Secretary and its questionable ‘ATDC’ have entered Darkali to resume the clearing of trees in the area, accompanied by two men with chainsaws. Some residents went on site and asked to see a valid work order and contract; they were met with verbal and physical violence. In some instances, manhandling happened a few centimeters away from the chainsaws while they were still on, which is life-threatening and could have resulted in very serious injuries.
It is likely that the members of the ‘ATDC’ and their close supporters will attempt to start the work again in the coming days, possibly with the support of a large hired mob. We request all those who choose to be present on site to remain respectful and keep their inner calm and peace in the face of all challenges, and to keep on documenting the events. We suggest that these individuals be asked to produce their work order, valid contract and other such documents, which are required to undertake works of this nature, and show how they intend to comply and stay within the directions of the Joint Committee report. These questions could be in the form of signs that are held up so that they are visible to those present and in any photos/video footage without the need for verbal interaction that could more easily lead to confrontations. We also strongly advise that non-Indian residents do not take part in any protest and are not involved in direct obstruction of the works.
We have been following up closely on the matter with relevant authorities in Tamil Nadu and Delhi and will continue to do so; the actions of the organizers of the hired enforcers have been brought to the attention of the authorities at all levels. We have also written a media release to bring this matter to the attention of the public and expect some press to be present tomorrow. Some of our members and resource persons were present on site today and will join as and when needed in the coming days.
Please check for further updates as things develop.
Let us call for Mother’s protection and Mother’s Grace, collectively.
Your RA Working Committee
Aravinda, Bharathy, Chali, Hemant, Maël, Sauro, Valli