NBA Press Note

April 2, 2001

Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
Jail Road, Mandleshwar
District Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07283-33162
Email: nobigdam@vsnl.com

Eminent writer Arundati Roy and film-maker Jharna Jhaveri visit affected villages and demand that there can be 'No Construction Without Completion Of Rehabilitation First'
'Citizens Forum' - Independent Fact-finding Committee from New Delhi investigates rehabilitation process and suspected human rights violations in Man Project
Chittaroopa Palit and Urmila Patidar still held in jail for the 12th day

Smt Arundati Roy and noted film-maker Jharna Jhaveri, visited Chittaroopa Palit and Urmila in jail today. Later on they visited the project-affected villages, where they listened to the adivasis talk about various ways in which the government had bent every rule to deny them their basic rights in rehabilitation. Smt Arundati Roy and Jharna Jhaveri slammed the government attitude towards adivasis and expressed their complete support and solidarity with the adivasis. Shri Kamal Mitra Chenoy, professor Jawaharlal Nehru University, Shri Shamisul Islam, noted theatre activist, Shri John Dayal, Secretary General, All India Christian Council and Smt Ajitha, social activist from Jharkhand, visited the area on a fact finding mission to investigate the situation pertaining to rehabilitation in the Man project. The government of Madhya Pradesh continues to act in an exceedingly shameful manner by holding the Narmada Bachao Andolan activists in jail for the 11th day today.

Noted writer, Smt Arundati Roy and Smt Jharna Jhaveri, noted film-maker, visited those in jail today and expressed their full support. They have demanded that the Man Project should be immediately stopped and land based rehabilitation of the affected adivasis be undertaken. They condemn the shameful behavior of the government and extended their continual support to the fight of the adivasis for rehabilitation rights. Meanwhile, eminent people, Peoples organizations and others from different corners of the country have written protest letters to chief minister, Shri Digvijay Singh. Retired Justice Shri. Ravi Kumar Jain, Advocate in the Supreme Court Shri Rajeev Shukla, Ex-Commissioner of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes Shri B.D. Sharma, Socialist leader Shri Surendra Mohan and Shri Kiskan Patnayak, National Secretary of 'Lok Swatantr Sanghatan' Shri Rajendra Sayal, Shri Praful Bidwai, Shri S.P. Shukla, Shri Dr. Sunilam among others have written to Shri Digvijay Singh condemning the atrocities on adivasis and demanding their immediate unconditional release. They too have demanded that rehabilitation of the adivasis must precede and further construction of the dam.

Shri Kamal Mitra Chenoy, professor Jawaharlal Nehru University, Shri Shamisul Islam, noted theatre activist, Shri John Dayal, Secretary General, All India Christian Council and Smt Ajitha, social activist from Jharkhand, from 'Citizens Forum' visited the area on a fact finding mission to investigate the situation pertaining to rehabilitation in the Man project. They spent two days in the affected villages and the district headquarters. They met the Collector Shri Rajesh Rajoria and City Magistrate Shri Vashisht in separate meetings, enquiring about the administration's position of the rehabilitation status. They also met the project-affected adivasis and their affected villages and spoke to them and recorded their perception of the rehabilitation process. They also visited the jail and met Smt Chittaroopa Palit and Smt Urmila Patidar. They intend to prepare a report that they intend to submit to the National Human Rights Council, National Commission for Women, Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other human rights organizations.

The shameful and exceedingly vulgar display of administrative might of the State was further showcased with production warrants for old cases being submitted to the Dhar Jail Superintendent. Production warrants for 6 cases against Chittaroopa Palit and 5 cases from the Mandleshwar Court were received by the Jail Superintendent to be produced in the Mandleshwar Court on the 3rd and 4th of April. Production warrants for Chittaroopa Palit have also been served from Khargone Court directing her to be produced there on 4th of April. On 26th 200 adivasi project-affected activists were released unconditionally. On 29th March, 6 more activists were released on bail, by the order of the District Court, while on 31st March, 7 activists were released. However, Smt Chittaroopa Palit and Urmila Patidar are still being held in jail with the government persisting on raking up old cases against them.

Alok Agarwal
Clifton D' Rozario