Bhopal, April 20, 2011
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on Wednesday trained her guns on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and slammed his government for “committing excesses” on tribals, who have lost their lands to the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in the state. The Modi government, which has committed massacre (Katleaam) of minorities is now committing excesses on the tribals whose lands were submerged in SSP,” Patkar told reporters here.
“Some displaced tribal women of SSP had been raped but there was no place where they can get their complaint registered in Gujarat,” she alleged.
The Gujarat government has forcibly grabbed land from tribals and did not compensate or rehabilitate them, se claimed.
The Gujarat government was following the corporate model of development and was not interested in the welfare of masses, the SSP leader alleged when asked to comment over Anna Hazare’s recent statement praising Modi’s developmental efforts.
“Hazare’s statement on Modi was unfortunate and unacceptable,” she said.
However, Patkar said she has immense respect for the anti-graft crusader. “I will continue to support Hazare,” she said.
Asked that now it appears that Hazare’s has softened his stance on the Lokpal Bill, NBA leader Patkar said it wasn’t so. “The campaign against corruption has just begun.”
On the CD row, involving Prashant and Shanti Bhushan, she said they were upright men for whom money was not dear.
“Prashant is open to an inquiry into the CD matter for the truth to come to fore,” the NBA leader said.
“They have not charged a penny from us to fight the cases of the people, especially tribals displaced by the dams’ construction of river Narmada,” she said.
Patkar also criticised the “violent” Chhattisgarh government and said social activists were being attacked there.
“The land of tribals was being grabbed in Chhattisgarh for corporate houses which is fuelling tension in the region,” she said.
She said that she was overwhelmed on the release of Binayak Sen and added that the Chhattisgarh government was using the sedition charge to bully social workers and activists.
“I don’t think that Sen was a Maoist sympathiser. The Maoist literatures do come to my house as well. But this doesn’t mean that I am Maoist sympathiser,” she said.