Dehradun, July 15 : Members of the Uttarakhand Mahila Manch today staged a demonstration outside the Vidhan Sabha seeking permanent capital status for Gairsain.The protesters, who were against the Dixit Commission’s decision to favour Dehradun over Gairsain as permanent capital, asserted that from the early days of the statehood agitation during undivided Uttar Pradesh, Gairsain had always been favoured as most suited for the state’s capital.
Even the Kaushik committee formed by the then UP government to look into the feasibility of a separate hill state had favoured Garsain.
Bhuvneshwari Kathait, a demonstrator, said that by making Gairsain the permanent capital, the aspirations of the hill people would be fulfilled.
Another protester Nirmal Bisht said that backwardness in hill districts could only be eradicated if the capital is located in the hills. The members also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister.
Haridwar: The Uttarakhand Sanyukta Sangarsh Samiti staged a protest here against the Dixit panel report that disfavoured Gairsain as the permanent capital of the state.
Samiti members raised slogans against the commission report and burnt its copies as a mark of protest terming it as a decision taken in Dehradun’s AC rooms.
Terming it as a mockery of the 85 lakh residents of Uttarakhand, state agitationist and central secretary of the samiti JP Pande said that the report intended to kill the aspirations of the people of the state.
“The fight for the separate state in erstwhile Uttar Pradesh was for the development of hill areas. Dehradun was easily accessible even in UP days so Gairsain has to be the capital of a predominantly hill state,” said Pandey.
Criticising the long time and amount spend on the commission, central president of samiti Dhirendra Pratap said, “The committee took nine years to table its report and Rs 70 lakh of the people’s money was spent on it, yet it is catering to politicians and bureaucrats with utter disrespect to the hill people,” said Pratap.
Commenting on the report’s objections to making Gairsain the permanent capital, he said, “Even Shimla has all these problems but isn’t it a state capital?” Earlier, the protesters burnt the Dixit Commission report and send a memorandum to the Chief Minister and Justice Birendra Dixit.
“A hill state should have its capital in the hills. Most people living in plains don’t have an idea how difficult and undeveloped major hilly districts of Uttarakhand are,” said Afzal Alvi, a statehood agitationist.
At Lakshar, statehood agitationists and samiti members staged a protest with the city head of the samiti Dharam Pal Bharati describing the report as a sign of discrimination against the hills in a state where 12 districts are hilly.
Present at the agitation were district head of the USSS Samsher Khan, Mira Raturi, Shah Nawaz Khan, Sonu Sardar, Lal Chand Kashyap, Farman Ali, Mathura Supal, Manju Rawat, Shivi Rawat, Vimla Negi among others.