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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : NBA activists barge into Digvijay's house

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com
Wednesday, January 10, 2001


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NBA activists barge into Digvijay's house


By Our Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL, JAN. 9. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader, Ms. Medha Patkar, along with nearly 40 NBA activists was today arrested when they barged into the Chief Minister's bungalow here. They were later released on bail.

This incident, which is being treated as a serious breach of the Chief Minister's security, occurred around 9-30 this morning. According to an eyewitness account, Ms. Patkar and her supporters entered the Chief Minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh's residential complex without any formal appointment and when the policemen posted on duty tried to stop them the NBA activists went on the rampage.

Immediately after this incident, those who were present on security duty at the Chief Minister's residence were replaced by another set of security personnel and it is reliably learnt that an official probe is being conducted to fix responsibility.

The District Superintendent of Police later told The Hindu that a woman activist even dug her teeth and wounded a security guard while some others used the flag- sticks they were carrying to chase away the security personnel.

The NBA activists were arrested under Sections 448, 451, both dealing with trespass, and Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code. The third section deals with those disregarding the commands of Government officials. Since these relate to bailable offenses, those arrested were later released on bail.

The Chief Minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh, told newsmen that he was always ready to meet Ms. Patkar while expressing his displeasure at the way the NBA activists had forcibly entered his residential premises ``without proper appointment''.

Regarding the NBA demands, the Chief Minister said that he can do nothing about the Sardar Sarovar dam being built in Gujarat. While emphasising that the Madhya Pradesh Government was fully committed to the proper rehabilitation of the dam- affected people, he however said, ``we have told everybody that we do not have sufficient land to rehabilitate each and every oustee.''

Later Ms. Patkar met the Chief Minister, before he left for Delhi, and informed newsmen that she has urged him to take up the matter of the Sardar Sarovar dam with the Gujarat Chief Minister asking them not to increase the height of the dam before completing the rehabilitation process.

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