Social activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday accused the government of suppressing the civil movement after the police refused to allow her and 1,000 others to start their protest march from Golibar in Khar to Mantralaya due to lack of police permission.
She said such an attitude would force people to resort to violent protests.
The march began after noon after the police authorities gave the requisite permission letter. Patkar, documentary filmmaker and social activist Anand Patwardhan, and thousand others began their march from Golibar at 2.30pm, and passed through prominent slum pockets in Dharavi, Mahim, before deciding to stay overnight at Lokmanya Nagar in Dadar. They will continue their protest walk from Dadar on Wednesday.
"It was after home minister RR Patil intervened that we were allowed to protest," said Dinesh Shinde, member, National Alliance of People Movement. Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Rajnish Seth told HT that he did not receive any letter from the protesters for permission.
Patkar and others had organised a protest march against government's decision to scrap two committees that were formed to probe irregularities in redevelopment projects in Golibar and 15 other slum rehabilitation schemes.
Patkar said that the government was betraying people.
"People become violent when they get impatient. We, the leaders, will also not be able to control them. The government needs to act on issues that concern the poor people," Patkar said.