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

"The Police Action in Maan Affected Area is Nothing But Dacoity" - Medha Patkar
Medical Examination of Injured Women Carried Out on Complaint by State Women's Commission
Relay Fast Begin

Jail Road, Mandleshwar
District Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07283-33162

Senior activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan Ms Medha Patkar today joined in the dharna of the Maan dam affected people. Addressing a public meeting at the dharna, she said that the action by the police of taking away the silver and cash of the people was nothing short of dacoity by the police. The struggle going on in Maan area is a part and parcel of the people's struggle in the Narmada Valley. Yesterday, the State Women's Commission paid a visit to the dharna site and heard the stories of the women about the atrocities carried out against them. The Commission later made a complaint to the Police Director General following which a medical examination of the women on the dharna was carried out. The medical examination revealed evidence of injury in 7 women. A relay fast was started at the dharna today even as the dharna entered the third day today. Social workers and communist leader Ms Perindaji and former MP Kalyan Jain visited the dharna and declared their support to the struggle. Many leading citizens of Indore also sat on the relay fast with the affected people.

As the dharna of the Maan dam affected people in Indore entered the third day, senior activist of the NBA Ms Medha Patkar and Sardar Sarovar dam affected people joined the dharna. Addressing the dharna, Medha Patkar said that on one hand, the Government was looting the life support of generations from the people - that is, their land; on the other hand, the police, in the action during forcible evictions on 20th July, had also looted the people's life time saving. The state is displacing the people in spite of the resettlement policy that is there on paper. The struggle of people of the Maan area is a part and parcel of the struggle of the people affected by various dams in the Narmada valley. The forcible eviction of the affected people is a blot on our democracy and we will fight this together.

The State Women's Commission visited the dharna yesterday on hearing about the repression on the affected people. They heard the stories of repression from the women. After this, a representative group of the Commission met the police Director General and made a complaint about the matter. Following this, the women who had been injured in the police action during the forcible eviction were taken for a medical examination at the local M.Y. Hospital late evening. Evidence of injuries was found in 7 women who were present at the dharna. These are : Sukabai Ansingh (Age 18), Ratibai d/o Mukhi (age 18), Rangubai w/o RamSingh (age 30), Bhanvaribai (Age 55), Antu w/o Chander Singh (Age 25), Birjubai w/o Munna (Age 20), Banni d/o Munna (age 1 month).

The people launched a relay fast today, the third day of the dharna. The people sitting on relay fast today are Maan dam affected Saida bai, Antubai, Parubai, Munnibai, Maheshwar Dam affected Antar Kevat, Mahadev, Amulya bhai from SEHAT, educationist Prof. Devi Prasad Maurya, Com. Vasant Shintre of CPI and Com. Sohanlal Shinde of AITUC Indore District. Representatives from the Pushpa Kalyan Kendra, Ashta talked about the terrible fate of people affected by a dam in their area, and declared support to the Maan oustees. Statements of support are pouring in from all corners of the country. A silence of one minute was observed in memory of the late Dr. Roshan Daji.

Alok Agrawal
Rakesh Diwan