Woman protesting for 81 days for roads, drainage system dies at protest site in Agratext_fields
The woman who had been protesting for 81 days for road and proper drainage systems in Dhanoli, Ajeejpura and Siroli villages in Uttar Pradesh's Agra, died at the protest site on Sunday. Rani Devi (48), a resident of Vikas Nagar, had been protesting regularly at the Siroli-Dhanoli road protest site since October 13. She was living with her 22-year-old son Neeraj in a rented house near the site.
"I used to tell my mother to not go to the protest site at night but she was adamant. She had slept there on Saturday. She did not wake up when I went to give her tea on Sunday morning. Her body was cold and stiff. We called a doctor who declared her dead. The district administration is solely responsible for her death," said Neeraj, who works as a labourer at a shoe manufacturing unit.
"The body has been sent for post-mortem. We will try to give the family some monetary assistance from the chief minister's relief fund and benefits under other government schemes," said SDM Lakshmi N.
Kirti Devi (85), who was sleeping beside Rani, was rushed to hospital unconscious. Kirti and Chaudhary Prem Singh had dug up land near the protest site and observed a sit-in protest on December 5.
Locals have been protesting in the area for the past 81 days. They resorted to various protest methods, including sloganeering at district headquarters, going bald, sitting inside potholes and waterlogged roads, hunger strike, putting up for boycotting upcoming assembly election, and pasting 'for sale' banners on their houses.
"In the past three years, we have raised issues such as lack of sanitation and hygiene, waterlogging, and poor road and drainage. We had staged a protest over these issues last year as well, following which the local authorities told us they will resolve the issue of waterlogging, but nothing has been done so far," said social activist Savitri Chahar who is leading the protests.
"Development works worth Rs 43 crore have been proposed for Dhanoli and nearby areas. Following the demand of locals, construction of roads was initiated. Earlier, temporary arrangements were made to clear waterlogging. We are also working to develop a permanent drainage system. Suitable help will be provided to the deceased woman's family," said District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh.