5th November, 2012
NHRC, Faridkot House,
Subject: Demanding Immediate Intervention and release of activist Medha Patkar, lawyer Aradhana Bhargava and 21 others and who have been illegally arrested and confined in Chhindwara, Jail in MP. (All arrested under sec 151 CrPC).
We are shocked to learn that renowned social activist Ms Medha Patkar of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and the Narmada Bacaho Andolan (NBA) was arrested yesterday from the house of Ms Aradhana Bhargava in Chhindwara, MP. Medha Patkar and others had gone to the house of Aradhana Bhargava as the latter had been arrested on the 3rd from her house.
It maybe known that lawyer Aradhana Bhargava had gone tp Chhindwara to participate in the death rituals of her mother. It was the last day of her mother’s death rites and she was picked up from her house and booked u/s 151 CrPC. When Medha and others on Sunday the 4th had gone to pay their condolences to the family of Aradhana, they were first detained inside the house of Aradhana and later picked up at 10.30 pm and sent into the Jail of Chhidwara. It is learnt that probably they too have been arrested u/s 151 CrPC.
We are shocked at the paranoic manner in which the MP Government through its District Collector Mahesh Chaudhary and SP Purshottam are behaving. They are not even allowing lawyers to meet their clients. The misuse of the law and illegal detention of senior activists in completely unacceptable. This action of the Administration and the police within the framework of Indian Constitution and democracy is violative of Article 19 and 21.
Now that Dr Sunilam (ex MLA) and leader of the present struggle against the Adani Peench Power Plant coming up in Chhindwara has been put behind bars for the 14 year old Multai Firing case, the Government of MP, the Administration and the Police want to speed up the process of eviction of the people who are living in the area where the Government plans to have the Peench Water Diversion Project and Power Plant. So anybody even remotely connected going into the area they feel will be a moral booster to the farmers who donot wish to be evicted.and therefore arresting them. .
We would like you to immediately intervene and ensure the release of Medha the 21 other activists and Aradhana today itself and take action against the SP and the Collector against this arbitrary action
(PUCL, National Secretary)