Agitating activists who have forcibly occupied the India United Mill No. 6 will be off the premises within 10 days, the state government assured the Bombay high court on Thursday.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the National Textile Corporation seeking eviction of protesters from the Indu Mill premises. Activists belonging to the Republican Party of India (RPI-A) and the Republican Sena are among those who have camped at the India United Mill, or Indu Mill, premises at Dadar since December 6. The protesters who forcibly entered the premises have been demanding that the entire 12.5 acre plot be turned into a memorial for Dr Ambedkar.
The state government's reluctance to flush agitators out from government property has come under severe criticism from the court. On Thursday, the division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice Anoop Mohta flayed the government yet again for its decision to negotiate with the various political factions involved in the agitation.
"We are dismayed at the stand adopted by the government... That will show the government is spineless and not fit to rule," the judges said. "You mean to say the government would start dialogue if terrorists forcibly enter someone's property," the judges asked additional government pleader GW Mattos. Advocate BK Barve, representing RPI-Athavale faction interrupted saying the activists were no terrorists and were carrying out their agitation peacefully. Barve also claimed that several allegations made by NTC in its petition were false, and that activists did not break open any mill gate.
The court finally granted the government one week to reach an amicable settlement with the protesters, but only after the state assured the court that the protesters would be evicted within three days if the week-long talks failed.
The judges asked Sangharaj Rupawate, representing Anandraj Ambedkar of Republican Sena, to ask the agitators to peacefully vacate the mill premises, as they had already made their point and no purpose would be served if they continued to occupy the mill.
Rupawate replied saying vacating the premises would not solve the problem, and urged the court to grant them two weeks to find an amicable solution. He also assured the court that the agitators would withdraw if the Centre allotted the entire 12.5 acre plot for the memorial.
The petition will come up for further hearing on January 4, 2012.