NBA Press Release
  26 July 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Outpouring of Support for Dharna of Maan Oustees : FIR Registered Against Police Loot

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

Large number of organizations visited the dharna site of the Maan oustees and expressed their support to the demands of the people as the Dharna entered the second day today. Former Member of Parliament Shri Kalyan Jain, writer Proferssor Saroj Kumar, Com. Vasant Shintre, educationist Dr. Devi Prasad Maurya, Shri Alok Khare, Mohan Krishna Shukla and Com Satyendra Bindal of All India Bank Officers Association, labour unions of INTUC, CITU and of Bank and Insurance companies and other labour unions all visited the dharna site and expressed their solidarity. They all also contributed financial support to the dharna. Meanwhile, an FIR was registered at the local Tukoganj police station regarding the loot of silver and cash by the police when they had forcibly evicted the affected people and their possessions from Khedi-Balwadi on 20th July 2002. According to this report, a total of 14 kilos of silver and about Rs. 20,000 has been looted by the police.

It may be recollected that the people of the first village affected by the Maan dam project (Dist. Dhar) were forcibly evicted on 20th July with the use of police force accompanied by repression. The people have been sitting on the dharna in Indore since yesterday in protest against this eviction and with the demand of being taken back to the original villages till their full resettlement is carried out. The people who have come with their small children and infants are making a simple demand - that they be resettled properly according to the state policy, and till this happens, their village should not be submerged, and they should be taken back to their original villages with their possessions.

Large number of eminent people and organizations visited the dharna and declared their full support to the people. Apart from those whose names are given above, these included senior advocate Shri Shankarlal Bagdi, Indore District INTUC General Secretary Shri Rudrapal Yadav, Com. Vasant Shintre of CPI, Com. Gaurishanker Sharma and Com. Prabhakar Tokekar of CITU, Indore District INTUC President Shri Sohanlal Shinde, Com. Sudhir of LIC and GIC and Com. P.C. Jain, Com. Shiv Bahadur Singh of M.P.S.E.B. Karmachari Sangh, Com. Rajendra Bajaj of MP State Finance Corporation Karmachari Sangh, Com. Satyanaryan Varma of Railway Maal Godam and Divisional Bidi Majdoor Sangh. They pledged to support the dharna and the struggle of the Maan oustees with all their resources - time and financial.

On 20 July 2002, when the police had forcibly evicted the people and had taken away all their belongings, the police had looted the silver and cash and other valuables belonging to the people. The whole life-time savings of the people were kept by them in the form of silver and all this was looted by the police. Today, a FIR was registered at the local Tukoganj police station in this matter. It is significant that when the police entered the houses of the people, they had neither a search warrant nor had they prepared any panchanama of the goods removed.

The people who lost their valuables and have filed the FIR include - Gendubai W/o Shersingh of Khedi Balwadi - 1.75 kgs of silver and rs. One thousand; Rangubai w/o Bhursingh 1.25 kgs silver; Nathabai w/o Shersingh 1 kg silver and Rs. 5000 and many others.

The people are determined that they will fight for their rights with all the strength at their command.

Alok Agrawal