Woman demonstrating for 81 days dies at Dharna site | Agra News

Agra: Rani Devi, 48 – who had been protesting for 81 days demanding a road and proper drainage system in the villages of Dhanoli, Ajeejpura and Siroli in Agra – died on Sunday morning at the protest site. Other protesters said she fell asleep the night before but had not woken up in the morning. Another woman, sleeping next to Rani, was taken to hospital in an unconscious state.
Residents have been organizing protests in the area for 81 days and have spoken out in different ways to make their voices heard. They shouted slogans at the district headquarters, went bald, sat in potholes and flooded roads, went on hunger strike and put up posters boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections. A few of them even put “for sale” banners on the walls of their homes.
Rani resided in Vikas Nagar, under the jurisdiction of the Malpura Police Station. She has been demonstrating regularly at the Siroli-Dhanoli road demonstration site since October 13. She lived with her 22-year-old son, Neeraj (first name only) in a rented house near the site.
Neeraj, a worker in a shoe factory, said: “I used to tell my mother not to go to the protest site at night, but she was adamant. She had slept there on Saturday. She didn’t 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 his death.
Confirming that Rani died at the protest site, SDM Lakshmi N said: “The body has been sent for autopsy. We will try to provide the family with financial assistance from the Chief Minister’s relief fund and benefits from other government plans.
Meanwhile, the other woman who passed out is 85-year-old Kirti Devi. On December 5, Kirti, along with one Chaudhary Prem Singh, dug up land near the protest site and observed a protest sit-in.
Social activist Savitri Chahar, who is leading the protest, said: “Over the past three years, we have raised issues such as lack of sanitation and hygiene, congestion and poor roads and drainage. We had also organized a demonstration on these issues last year, after which the local authorities told us that they would solve the congestion problem, but nothing has been done so far. Representatives of the public also turned a blind eye to our problems.
Chahar told TOI that the waterlogging damaged many homes in the area. She said pothole-riddled roads caused many accidents and poor cleanliness and neglect by local authorities killed at least 10 children from viral fever and dengue fever in September. and November.
District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh said, “Development works worth Rs 43 crore have been proposed for Dhanoli and surrounding areas. Following the request of the inhabitants, the construction of roads was initiated. Previously, temporary arrangements had been made to eliminate congestion. We are also working on the development of a permanent drainage system. Appropriate assistance will be given to the family of the deceased woman.

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