August 2, 1999
ANOTHER COWARDLY ACT OF GUJARAT GOVERNMENT
ATTEMPT TO PREVENT THE PEOPLE GOING TO SATYAGRAHA
The Narmada Bachao Andolan strongly condemns the highhanded and paranoid
behaviour of the Gujarat government in preventing the free movement of
the people to the Satyagraha places in the Narmada valley. The state
administration and police started preventing the people from going to
Hafeshwar,the access point to Jalsindhi(M.P.) and Domkhedi (Maharashtra)
where the satyagraha against the unjust submergence and displacement has
been going on from June 20.
The pretext by the Gujarat government to stop the supporters and the
valley people from reaching to Hafeshwar and catching the boat for the
villages is very flimsy and laughable. It proclaimed that it was due to
consideration of the safety of the people, the access is being
restricted. The people have been going through these route all these
days of Satyagraha, even when the backwater level was alarmingly high -
upto 97 meters.
Another reason regarding the preventing the "Rally for
Valley" initiated by noted author Ms. Arundhati Roy, is also equally
untenable. There never any plan for the rally to come through Kavant and
Hafeshwar. The NBA and the organisers of the rally had announced time
and again their route to Jalsindhi through Kakrana in M.P. THe Gujarat
government and the pro-dam vested interests, as usual, have been raising
the non-issue and have been trying to whip up frenzy in Gujarat for no
reason. That has always been the modus operendi of the vested interests
and fascist forces in Gujarat.
We assert that these petty, mediocre attempts by the Gujarat government
and police would not dater the spirit of the Rally or of th Narmada
Bachao Andolan. Instead, the people would become more resolute in their
determination. The Gujarat government will have to face the
universal condemnation for its strong arm tactics, however clandestine
they might be.