Police Protection Sought For Social Activists Threatened By Builders

We urge the city police to immediately provide protection to safeguard the well-being of S K Alisha, member of the Ankita Welfare Association, T Shankar of the Fishermens’ Youth Welfare Association and Arjili Das, a functionary of the District Fishermens’ Youth Welfare Association.

It has been brought to our notice that the above three activists, along with several other functionaries of the Forum For Better Visakha (FBV) have been threatened by persons describing themselves as representatives of the Sea Valley Resorts Pvt Ltd, Visakhapatnam. The Resort has undertaken construction near the Ramakrishna Beach area in the city and Mr Alisha, Mr Shankar and Mr Das have filed a writ petition No. 16616/2007 in the High Court contending that the construction was proceeding in violation of provisions contained in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification. The petition came up for hearing before the High Court on August 3 and is slated to come up again for hearing this week.

It is against this background that the threat was made against the petitioners. They were also offered money and gifts and warned of serious consequences if they persisted with the case. The HRF strongly condemns such deplorable tactics.

It is pertinent to state here that the CRZ notification is a significant legislation that was brought forth in 1991 using provisions contained in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. It was issued to guide developmental activity along the coast and islands and was based on an understanding that the coasts have unique and fragile ecosystems. Mr Shankar, Alisha and Das have, on several occasions in the past, raised the issue of CRZ violations along the Vizag coast.

V S Krishna
HRF State secretary


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