As activist Medha Patkar’s hunger strike entered the fifth day on Tuesday, prominent anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and former deputy municipal commissioner Govind Rao Khairnar came out in support of her agitation.
Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Swami Agnivesh supported her by participating in a rally in Delhi. Hazare also called chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and asked him to act on the issue. “The CM told me that he has asked his officials to work on a draft proposal to be presented to Patkar on her demands,” said Hazare.
Khairnar, as known as the Demolition Man, met Patkar on Tuesday. “As a matter of principle I am against demolition. I demolished only illegal structures,” said Khairnar.
Patkar is on an indefinite hunger strike since Friday demanding changes in the state’s slum redevelopment policy which she says favours the builders. Refusing to quit her fast, she said: “There needs to be a decisive discussion with the CM as he is also the urban development minister.”
Also, a citizens’ delegation, including former justice Suresh Hospet, documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan and transport activist Ashok Datar, met Chavan to convince him to respond to her strike.
“We are worried about Patkar’s health and tried to persuade the CM to resolve the issue. Chavan didn’t say anything concrete as the high court order asking eviction is a constraint. We hope the demolitions stop till the court’s decision about the forgery case is out,” said Hospet.
While the court had ordered eviction of the slums of Ganeshkripa society of Khar in September 2010, it ordered the police to probe into the allegations of signature forgery in the consent letters of slumdwellers provided by the developers.