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August 13 2013 | by Rahul
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Jazeera- A lone protestor who takes on the sand mafia

Jazeera has been fighting the sand-mafia that is eating up the beach near her childhood home at Kannur.

The indefinite strike by the Left opposition seeking the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been called off on the second day. Thousands of LDF activists, troops from the Central Reserve Police Force, state police and the media were gathering around the Secretariat for the past 24 hours.

But there is one woman and her three children who have been carrying out a silent protest in front of the North Gate of Secretariat. Jazeera who have been carrying out their protest for 10 days now, has no intention of abandoning her protest.

Photo: Kaavya Pradeep Kumar, The hindu

Jazeera and her 3 children- Rizwana (12) and Shifana (10) and one-and-half-year old Mohammed spent the night here knowing that it would be impossible to find their way back to their usual spot during the LDF protest. She even left the rented room on Sunday morning and had stocked herself with additional baggage of blankets, sheets, stock of food and water.

The lone woman has been battling the sand-mafia that is eating up the beach near her childhood home at Kannur.

“I have come here for a reason and it makes no sense to leave it halfway simply because there is another protest. Yes, there will be huge numbers and they have one cause. Seriously, there are other, more grave issues that need to be addressed,” says Jazeera.

Jazeera who is an auto rickshaw driver here saw the systematic destruction of the slim stretch of shore in her hometown when she returned for the final month of her third pregnancy. She made many visits to the collectorate and police stations but they did not take any action. Jazeera says the protest does not frighten them.

“I have been physically harassed by the people involved in the excavation and here there is no threat,” she says.

Jazeera will not leave until she receives a written promise from the Chief Minister that sand mafia will be stopped. Even though the campaign involves just one woman and three children, it has managed to get even the mafia worried.

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