Four cases were registered against the NBA. She was granted bail by the Kukshi and Dhar Courts in 3 of these cases but was rejected bail in the fourth case under Section 365 of Indian Penal Code which relates to kidnapping.
Pleading on Behalf of Medha Patkar in the Indore High Court, senior advocate Anand Mohan Mathur argued that the NBA leader had been arrested on the charge of abduction, which is totally baseless because the spot where she has been accused of kidnapping was a public place and even the government officials come there to interact with her. Mathur said that sitting on protest fast in the country of Gandhi and Ambedkar is not a crime.
The bail plea of three others – Shantu, Vijay and Dhuraji brothers – who were also arrested along with Medha and were in jail for the last 15 days, will also be heard on Thursday (24 August).
Today villagers in the Narmada valley assembled in protest. Meanwhile several ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers from Bajrikhheda village of Dhar district, which is affected by Sardar Sarovar project resigned from the ruling BJP. More than two dozen BJP workers from Kadmil village have also left the BJP.
New Delhi/Bhopal: The Supreme Court today responded to a special leave petition (SLP) by deciding not to interfere with the proceedings pending before the Indore Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court, which is already monitoring the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) of the Sardar Sarovar dam affected people.
When the matter came up for hearing in the High Court on 1 August 2017, it was adjourned to 10 August 2017, as the SLP filed in the apex court was listed for today (8 August 2017). Now the High Court will continue to monitor R&R where the petition is listed for hearing on 10 August 2017.
The people who are being evicted from their homes due to the Sardar Sarovar dam had filed the SLP in Supreme court against an interim order passed by the High Court. The SLP was filed against the orders of 19 June 2017 and 13 July 2017. In the order of 13 July, the High Court had sought a report on status of rehabilitation, rehabilitation sites and had adjourned the matter to 1 August 2017.
The SLP filed by Bhagirath Dhangar and others Vs State of MP came for hearing in Supreme Court today. The matter was argued by Fali Nariman, Sanjay Parikh and Prashant Bhushan. By its order of 8 February 2017, the Supreme Court had directed rehabilitation of the oustees. The apex court had also said that the oustees have to vacate their land by 31 July 2017, otherwise forcible eviction will take place. As per this order, entire R&R and work at the rehabilitation sites was to be completed. As R&R was not done as per SC judgments of 2000 and 2005 and the order of 8 February 2017, some villagers from the Narmada valley had filed a writ petition along with 602 interveners before the Indore Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
After the arrest of NBA leader Medha Patkar and the “violent attack” on fasting protesters by the police yesterday, access to Ms. Patkar who has been admitted in an Indore hospital and Dharmendra Bhai, Pushpa behan and others at Dhar hospital has been denied, the NBA today announced that their indefinite fast will continue in hospital. It has also been announced that 10 more people have gone on fast at Chikalda village.
A collective decision on whether or not they would be continuing with their indefinite fast will be taken after discussions that can only take place once Ms Patkar and others are released.
Bhopal: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) have lashed out at the Government of Madhya Pradesh accusing it of unleashing violence and crushing people’s democratic right to protest by arresting NBA leader Medha Patkar and four others while they were on an indefinite fast at Chikhalda village in Dhar district on Monday evening.
It was the 12th day of Ms. Patkar’s fast “against the illegal and unjust drowning and forceful eviction of more than 40 thousand families in Narmada Valley” when she was picked up from the protest venue by the Police on Monday evening. Before arresting her, the police resorted to a lathi charge and also demolished the pandal (makeshift shelter) erected for the protesters.
Gandhinagar: At least seven adivasi families have been kept under house custody by the Gujarat Police and administration, since yesterday charged Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar late Sunday night.
In a statement Ms. Patkar said, in Kevadia village which is just 7 kms from the Sardar Sarovar Dam site and already affected by the project since the decade of 60’s, women asserting that their agricultural land and houses should not be grabbed for Bharat Bhavan, without they getting the package of alternative land and an amount of Rs.5 lakhs for each adult major son in the family were arrested by the police and taken to Tilakwada about 50 kms away. While the women were released after a pressure was mounted by the crowd and media media covering the incident, JCB machines were brought to carry on the eviction work by destroying even the standing crops of ‘Tuvar’. The destructive action continued through the night, trampling upon the rights of the adivasis (tribals) who have been fighting for their survival since 1970’s and loss of livelihood since 1961 itself.
Ms. Patkar has pointed towards the plight of the people from six villages, including Kevadia, stating they lost their land that was acquired for the Sardar Sarovar and the project colony at a meager rate of compensation in 1961 and all the adivasi (Bhil Tadi) families either became landless or were left with small chunks of land. The land they lost was used for nine kinds of government guest houses, staff quarters, and colony, bazaar as well as tourism centers while some of it has been used for storage of material of the contractors, illegally diverting the purpose of acquisition itself.
Originally there were 300 families struggling against the injustice in the Kevadia area but the number of such families gradually went up to 900. Only a few of these have got work at the dam site or the project office – mostly as temporary wagers. A package of Rs. 36,000 in lieu of has been given to only 300 families, many of whom have rejected this meager amount since it is grossly inadequate for purchasing alternative source of livelihood, Ms. Patkar has asserted.
According to the NBA leader, the Gujarat government in 2013 took cognizance of the opposition to any further acquisition of land amongt the adivasis in the Kevadia region and promised land for land as a package for the Bharat Bhavan project in Kevadia. However, these families who have already lost more than 100 acres in the 1960’s and another 20 acres for Bharat Bhavan were shown land at a few sites but they refused to accept alternate land since what was being offered was scatetred and in small patches. Suddenly, in these circumstances, the police and administration chose to adopt oppressive action to grab the tribals’ land
Ms. Patkar has alleged that the Gujarat government with the support of the Centre, is behaving in an unjust manner and committing atrocities on the tribals. The fight for the tribals’ rights will continue till justice is attained, she has asserted.
On October 31, 2014, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel laid the foundation stone near Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada River near Kevadia Colony for the construction of the “Shrestha Bharat Bhavan”, which will be a multidimensional centre for research and tourism and is part of the Statue of Unity project – #StatueOfUnity project.