Uttan dumping ground protest began on the 13th of September 2009 and had a participation of around 10000 plus people mainly East Indian Catholics. The protest was a 24 X 7 peaceful vigil and no garbage trucks were allowed to enter the area. The protest took a fierce turn on 24th September 2009, when two trucks loaded with garbage were sent with police protection at around 8.00 am. The police had come prepared with tear-gas grenades, lathis etc. At that particular moment about 100 to 120 people who were keeping vigil tried to obstruct the garbage trucks. It was a peaceful protest to obstruct the garbage trucks. However the police started lathi charging the peaceful protestors and threw expired tear gas (CN) grenades on the protesters. This was at Anand Nagar.Police brutally assaulted the peaceful protestors among whom most were women. The people were literally dragged by the police from their houses and mercilessly beaten. The lathi-charge was done twice. The second lathi charge was at Bhoot Bangla (the Uttan-Gorai-Bhayandar junction) Priests, Nuns and school children were also not spared. Women were literally assaulted by policemen and dragged to the police vans. Approximately 20 protestors were arrested and taken to Bhayander police station from where they were taken to Thane. Among the protestors arrested were 17 females and 9 males. The females were released on bail late in the evening of the same day. Out of the 9 male protestors arrested the two who were injured were released and 7 protestors were detained in the Thane Police Station. The assaulted protestors, some of whom were seriously injured have been admitted to Bhagwati hospital and Mira road hospital respectively.
The news of the lathi charge spread among the villagers/protestors by the tolling of the bells in all the churches in the vicinity. Protestors in thousands rushed out of their houses and flocked at the site of the lathi charge. The police tried to stop the protestors but they were forced to retreat. The protestors stood their ground till 6.00 p.m. when they were informed that the Thane District Court had given a hearing that “No garbage trucks should enter the area and dumping ground site for the next two weeks”. The time of two weeks would be utilized to make a firm decision on the dumping ground issue.
All social activists, environmentalists are hereby invited to join the protestors of the dumping ground project to show their solidarity with the villagers of Uttan and the adjoining villages of Chowk, Palle, Dongri, Gorai and Bhayandar. We solicit your help to resolve this burning issue.
Actual Video of the Lathi Charge:
Please see the video. Many Newspaper's have made false claim that the Protestor's turned violent. This video evidence will prove the actual facts.