NBA Press Release
  12 June 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Government Resorting to Cheap Tactics by Manipulating Medical Reports; Indefinite Fast Enters 23rd day

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

As the four activists who are on indefinite fast turn more weak and pale, the administration is resorting to cheap tactics of manipulating the medical reports. While a couple of days back it was diagnosed high Acetone level for all four of them, with Ramkuvar having the highest, yesterday's report was manipulated as normal, except for Ramkuvar. On examining privately, it was found out to be very high for all. NBA once again wants to remind the administration that we cannot be cowed down by these cheap tactics. We reiterate that the administration should address the issues raised by Ms.Chittaroopa Palit, Ms.Ramkuvar, Mr.Mangat Varma and Mr.Vinod Patwa, who are on fast for the last 23 days and hundreds of others who are on dharna for the last 29 days. No serious effort has been made by the government yet to address the issues raised by the people.

A memorandum submitted to the Dy.Commissioner at the Madhya Pradesh Bhawan at New Delhi, to be forwarded to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, by several prominent activists, including noted social activist Swami Agnivesh, senior socialist leader Surendra Mohan, Rajendra Yadav, Valson Thampu, Vimalbhai of Tehri dam displaced people's organisation. They urged that, ".... you take immediate steps to redress the situation ......" and to ensure that, "not a single family is forced out of their homes and lands before proper rehabilitation." Expressing concern over the state of the four activists who are on indefinite fast they wrote, "It is surprising that the government has made no attempt to talk to the people or discuss their demands. We urge you to immediately hold a dialogue with the affected people and redress the issues raised by them in a democratic manner."

Prof. Rama Singh, McMaster University, Canada, Ms.Heffa Schucking, Director of environmental organisation, Urgewald, Germany, San Diego (USA) chapter of Amnesty International, Ms.Margaret Setter, Australia and over 100 students of Indian origin from United States included, several people have expressed full support to the ongoing agitation at Bhopal. Prof.Vijay Diwan, environmentalist and leader of Jayakwadi dam affected people's organisation, Geo Jose of National Alliance of People's Movement, Kerala and others wrote to the Chief Minister to follow the democratic path to resolve the issues.

Over 300 adivasis (tribals) and four activists and representatives of villages who are on fast are raising some pressing issues of the Maan dam affected, who are forced to face the monsoon, with no alternative provisions. The agitation demands:

  • That all affected people be immediately rehabilitated with irrigated lands and community facilities as per the policy.
  • That even those losing less than 2 hectares be rehabilitated with a minimum of 2 hectares as stipulated in the policy.
  • The water and electricity supplies of these villages must be immediately restored and tree cutting must stop.
  • That all state sponsored repression in the villages must immediately stop and that police force must be immediately removed, and the responsible officials punished.
  • Alok Agarwal