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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : NBA activists including Medha Patkar held

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Friday, September 24, 1999


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NBA activists including Medha Patkar held

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 23. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader, Ms. Medha Patkar, was arrested for the third time again today from Dhadgaon in Maharashtra, along with 484 people sitting on indefinite dharna.

The Maharashtra police clamped Section 144 before swooping on the agitationists, several of whom, including Ms. Patkar, were ``manhandled'', says a press note issued here. When presented before a Magistrate after arrest, the protesters declined to take a personal bond for the release and demanded that they be released unconditionally as they had committed no crime.

They demanded that the Government initiate a dialogue with them, ``instead of suppressing the real issues'' through police actions against the `satyagrahis' who stand threatened from the increase in the back waters of the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada in Gujarat. In a statement Ms Patkar said, ``When people have been raising the basic issues and have been challenging injustice, the response of the State Government is to trivialise it with police actions. This is not a law and order problem, but the situation has arisen due to the wrong policies and actions regarding the dam and displacement''.

She and 300 people were arrested and brought to Dhadgaon on Tuesday night after an intense fight by the people of the Narmada valley, as the waters reached neck deep level of the `samarpit dal' at Dhomkhedi satyagraha hut.

River waters entered villages destroying fields and homes for the third time this season.

Meanwhile, water level in Jalsindhi in Madhya Pradesh receded even as tribals had braved and stood in 1.5 feet deep water for 24 hours.


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