| NBA Press Release
|| 13 April 2006
Health of all three fasters deteriorates
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
§ Medha Patkar writes letter to the SHO for her release
The health of the three fasters is beginning to deteriorate on their 16th day of indefinite hunger fast. Jamsingh Nargave's is in a lot of pain, especially in his legs. Bhagwati behen is beginning to experience a lot of weakness. Medha Patkar's BP and potassium level continue to fluctuate abnormally and the ketone level is positive. She is experiencing weakness and severe headaches. However, the struggle for justice and the hunger fast continues and will continue unless the people of the Narmada Valley get justice.
Medha Patkar has written a letter to the Parliament Street SHO demanding to know what sections she has been charged under, since she was officially not been served any papers at all. Nor has she been produced before a magistrate until now. Yet, she is being held under detention.
Meanwhile, noted social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare visited the dharna site today to support the ongoing struggle. He also met Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, to urge him to intervene in this matter as far as the rehabilitation of Maharashtra families is concerned.
The meeting of the Review Committee of the NCA has been announced for Saturday morning. NBA welcomes the decision to call the meeting, however, we reiterate that this meeting should have been held one month ago when the construction clearance was given. By now, the dam construction has proceeded upto about 3 metres, illegally! NBA demands an immediate stalling of construction until all affected families are rehabilitated as per Supreme Court directives; with land and shifted six months before possible submergence.
Solidarity actions, demonstrations, dharnas and solidarity fasts continue throughout Indian and the world over. 34 individuals and 42 organisations from all over the world including Bangladesh, Australia, USA, Belgium, Thailand, Philippines, Venezuela, Japan, etc, have written a letter of protest to the Prime Minister. The letter states, "...this is a blot on your government...the Narmada struggle is a reaffirmation of the Indian constitution's commitment to democracy and justice". The organizations include Friends of the Earth, Australia, Assembly of the Poor, Thailand, Focus on the Global South, Thailand & Philippines, Center for Economic Justice, USA, Nodo Bolivar Del Observatoria Desc Amazonia, Venezuela and many others.
All over the country too there are solidarity actions in Itarsi, Hoshangabad, Bhopal, Indore, Trivandrum, Mysore, Mumbai. Bhopal saw a huge dharna yesterday, including scientists, writers and eminent citizens. The dharna in Indore is continuous with regular relay fasts and they even held a Kavi Sammelan yesterday, showcasing the Narmada poems. Especially in Kerala, hundreds of villages are observing fasts and conducting dharnas in solidarity. Badwani, which being 4 kms from the Narmada river, is close to several submergence villages in Madhya Pradesh and is also the center of the office of the NBA, observed a 100% bandh on 11th April in solidarity with the struggle in Delhi. The bandh was total, and brought together varying groups including Jain community, NSUI, ABVP, several college students, and all the merchants association of this town. Although the M.P. govt claims that Badwani is not in submergence even at 138 m, the life and existence of Badwani depends on the villages around it, which are on the verge of being drowned without rehabilitation.
Several of these submergence villages, such as Chikhalda, Kadmal, Ekalra, Ekkalbara, Bhavariya, Kavti that are affected by submergence are observing 'chulhabandi' where the entire village observes solidarity fast. This was also observed in Vadchil, the Maharashtra resettlement site, where families of Nimgavhan, Domkhedi and Surung have been resettled 2 years ago, after immense struggle. In the submergence village Kakrana, all the children of the jeevanshala (school) there observed a fast on 9th April. The villages of Nimad are also daily carrying out 'deep daan', where they release diyas (lamps) into the Narmada river. The largest 'deep daan' as yet has been done by the people of Nissarpur, in special support of Bhagwati Patidar from their village, who is also on her 16th day of fast.
Yogini Khanolkar, Kamla Yadav, Siyaram Padvi, Chetan Salve, Dipti Bhatnagar, Ranvirsingh, Noorji Padvi