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NBA Press Release                                 10th August, 1999

NARMADA FLOOODWATERS ENTER SATYAGRAHA PLACE: PEOPLE UNMOVED Sitarambhai,Medha,Dadlya Vasave, Bawabhai,Others Face Submergebnce

The floodwater level in Narmada rose sharply by six meters in the afternoon of August 10, and continued to rise so threatening the Satyagraha place where the activists and villagers have been staying put with the determination to confront the submergence. By seven in the evening, the waters entered that the Satyagraha place at Domkhedi (Maharashtra). It was nearing to the satyagraha place in Jalsindhi (M.P.). Both the places must have submerged by now where Medha Patkar, Sitaram Patidar, Bawa Muhariya and a lot of other Satyagrahis are camping to face the Sardar Sarovar waters.

According to information received from Badwani, the water level is about to touch the Rajghat Bridge with only one feet below the bridge. The police have already stopped all the vehicles from crossing the river bridge fearing untoward incident. The official information of water level at Rajghat was till seven in the evening was at 127 meters. This amount of water would definitely submerge the satyagraha places in Domkhedi and Jalsindhi. The water was barely 7 feet below the satyagraha place in Domkhedi on 6th August. At that time the water level at Rajghat was 119 meters. Now, if the water level at that place has risen by over 6 meters, the Satyagraha places must have been submerged. The tribals and peasants have been there in the Satyagraha places. Number of support organisations from different parts of India have been coming in to express their solidartity with thew Andolan at these places.

The "samarpit dal" at the Domkhedi satyagraha place led by Sitarambhai Patidar, Medha Patkar, Dadlya Karbhari and Bawa Muhariya, Luvariyabhai and others in Jalsindhi alongwith the suporters from difrferent parts in India had already declared their determination not to move out and leave the sdatyagraha place and decided to face the submergence. The resolve to confront the waters of submergence was in consonace with the stated position that the people opposed the unjust and imposed submergence and destruction. The people told so in no uncertain terms to the police who had come to warn the people when the water entered in the Satyagraha place in Domkhedi. They were told that the people would not move out. Afterwards there has been no news from that place.

Meanwhile, the Jnanpeeth Award winner literateur Girish Karnad, U. R. Ananthmurthy, Magasaysay Award Winner K.V. Subbanna and other prominent people have appealed the President to intervene in the situation and save the valley from the destruction. They cautioned that the government sahould not ignore the Narmada Bachao Andolan as it contains the collective wisdom of the adivasis and peasants of this country and their creative capacities.

Sanjay Sangvai