New Delhi | July 27, 2017: Today, Medha Patkar and Sardar Sarovar affected communities have started Indefinite Mass Fast against the Govt. attempt of drowning and forcefully evicting people from Narmada Valley without Complete and Just Rehabilitation. Before they could sit for the fast, it came to notice that Madhya Pradesh Police dismantled the Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat, Badwani in the night and was taking away through JCB which was stopped by people gathered to protest the disrespect shown by the Police forces and the Govt. towards the father of the nation. It was unfortunate day for this country to see the dark truth of development cum displacement model which did not even spare ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadevbhai Desai. When protested against the disrespect, the police forces unleash violence on fasting people and NBA activists. After facing continuous protest from the people, MP Police forced to retreat but dismantled few shops violently in frustration. It is clear that Police is acting as per the Govt. clear signals of using violent means to evict communities and trying hard to deter the strength of people holding indefinite fast peacefully out there along with Medha Patkar.
Citizens from all over the country reacted against the use of brute force by Madhya Pradesh Govt. disrespecting the democracy and constitution of the country. Following this, Delhi Solidarity Group and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) hold a protest in Delhi at Jantar Mantar in solidarity with Narmada oustees, Narmada Bachao Andolan and Medha Patkar against the forceful eviction and drowning of not only a valley but a civilization, a culture and whole communities living in Narmada Valley.
Sanjeev Kumar from Delhi Solidarity Group briefed around 50 people gathered for the protest at Jantar Mantar about the injustices happened in last 32 years of struggle led by the people and communities of Narmada Valley along with Narmada Bachao Andolan. Hannan Mollah (former MP), as a representative of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan said that the Govt. is producing false information in Courts, in front of People and attacking people with force when asked for rehabilitation. On the behest of corporate forces and for the sake of interests of few industrialists, The Govt. have stopped listening to people for genuine demands and the movement which fought for the rights of people since last 32 years. He also extended full support to the movement and the people of Narmada Valley on behalf of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan.
Bhupendra Singh Rawat from Jan Sangharsh Vahini attacked the Govt.’s plan of holding Narmada Mahotsav i.e. the celebration of formal closure of sluice gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam scheduled on August 12th, 2017 in Gujarat at Sardar Sarovar Dam site and called Narmada Mahotsav, a celebration of drowning of more than 40000 families residing in Narmada Valley without complete and just rehabilitation. It is the saddest truth of this country that the so called development is no more meant for poor, farmers, landless, women, fishworkers, artisans, potters, Adivasis.
Soumya Datta, renowned environmentalist expressed his full solidarity to the movement and refuted the two basic claims given by Govt. to close the gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam. One is electricity to Madhya Pradesh and another is water for Gujarat. Gujarat has failed to utilize the water stored at the dam height of 121.92 mts with gates open as the Canal work is not complete. Also the major portion of water is only going to Coca Cola and industries rather than the claimed farmers in Gujarat. Another false claim of the need of electricity refuted on the basis that Madhya Pradesh is already a power surplus state and already facing corruption charges in purchasing electricity at higher rates from private companies by keeping public sector electricity power plants closed.
Rajesh Singh from Delhi Solidarity Group, Inamul Hassan from Khudai Khidmatgar, Rishit Neogi from NAPM, and Farmers from Tamilnadu protesting at Jantar Mantar also expressed their solidarity to the movements and raised questions against the Govt. attempt of silencing the voices of minority, farmers, workers, women, adivasis, fishworkers from all over the country and condemned the violence unleashed on the people of Narmada Valley and activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
In solidarity with fasting NBA activists and people of Narmada Valley, supporters from Karnataka hold a day long fast at Talukdar Headquarters in Challekere, Karnataka. Nearly 50 people assembled and fasted since morning and raised their demands in support to the demands of communities of Narmada Valley and Narmada Bachao Andolan.