Inventor goes on hunger strike at Uzbek economic court

Nabijon Junayev intends to continue his hunger strike to the bitter end
Inventor Nabijon Junayev from Namangan Region has gone on a hunger strike inside the building of the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan, demanding a prototype of his stone collector be returned to him.

“I went on a hunger strike on Monday, 3 December, at six o’clock in the morning, and will not stop until my problem is resolved positively or negatively,” said the inventor from the town of Chust in Namangan Region, sitting in the reception room of the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

He demands the court should stop legal red-tape and the pilot model of his stone collector be returned to him.

According to Junayev, Economic Court Chairman Dilmurod Mirzakarimov last year promised him twice to hear his case, but has not kept his promise.

On the first Monday of this month, the chairman’s reception day, he did not even want to see the Chust-based inventor.

90 tonnes of stone an hour

Junayev’s indefinite hunger strike was prompted by his desire to help villagers to get rid of stones littering a lot of agricultural lands in abundance.

Engineer Junayev started to devise his stone collector back in 1982.

The inventor’s drawings drew the attention of the then Central Asian Scientific Research Institute for Irrigation, which suggested what units of the machine should be improved.

In 1989, Junayev finished his machine’s pilot model and tested it in field conditions.

The inventor said that results exceeded all expectations: the machine proved capable of collecting 90 tonnes of stones an hour.

Later, in addition to two inventor’s certificates, Junayev also received two patents while his stone collector excelled the best foreign models in terms of a number of specifications.

Stone collector stolen

In 1996, the inventor signed an agreement with the State Specialised Design Department (SSDD) for irrigation, but the latter virtually deceived him by failing to implement its agreement commitments while it is unknown where they sent the pilot stone collector.

“SSDD managers have for several years promised to return the machine or money, but in 2004, when it was revealed that they were simply pooling my leg. So I filed a suit with the economic court,” Junayev said.

The court litigation lasted for eight years with varied success.

The Namangan regional economic court tried to exact 85 million sums ($31,481 at the current black market rate) from the irrigators. This is the cost of the stone collector estimated by experts of the Central Asian Scientific Research Institute for Irrigation at one time.

In October 2011, the Higher Economic Court dropped the case by deciding that there was nothing to exact from the SSDD after it changed its form of ownership and name.

Is it time to collect stones?

According to Junayev, Uzbekistan has 5m ha of soil, of which 1.2m is used for agriculture while the rest is quite difficult to be cleaned from stones.

“Stone collectors would come in handy in this case. We do not produce them, but buy foreign ones,” Junayev said.

He dreams about getting back his machine or money for assembling a new model. Only then it would be appropriate to talk about mass production.

However, the Higher Economic Court is too busy to worry about the inventor’s problems.

Yesterday evening, Junayev was evicted from the reception room and told that he could spend a night fasting on a bench, and judges asked a beat police officer today in the afternoon to take away the annoying visitor.

After listening to the old inventor, the beat police officer just left the man alone.