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

SC/ST Commission asks Chief Secretary to submit a report within a week over
the rehabilitation of Maan affected persons. Writers from around the country express solidarity
with struggle, ask Chief Minister to initiate dialogue immediately

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-282232
Email: baroda@narmada.org

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464
Email: badwani@narmada.org

A delegation of affected persons from Maan dam impact zone met the chairperson of SC/ST Commission Dr. Vijay Sonakar Shastri in Delhi yesterday, and informed him on State repression and terror tactics of local administration to oust and displace them without proper rehabilitation. Dr. Shastri expressed his sincere concern on entire issue asking the Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh to submit his report within a week on the situation. The delegation included Former Commisisoner SC/ST Dr. B. D. Sharma, and Maan Project affected persons- Bondaribai, Vestibai and Jagdeeshbhai. On the other hand 90 litterateurs from all over the country have written a letter to Chief Minister asking him to accept the demands of affected persons immediately. Today, the ongoing Dharna entered into 25th day and the indefinite fast entered into 19th day.

Yesterday, during their meeting with the chairperson of SC/ST commission, Dr. Vijay Sonakar Shastri, affected persons narrated to him how the state government unleashed terror to oust and submerge them without rehabilitation. Giving a blind eye to rehabilitation, the State administration has unleashed a reign of terror to oust and displace them. Local administration has exhibited utmost cruelty depriving them of electricity and water supply by dismantling handpumps and removing transformers. The local administration not only used foul language to the people who resisted this unjust state repression, they even threatened adivasi girls to arrest them and sell them off. Dr. Shastri expressed his sincere concern over the matter, criticized attempts of State to deprive them from water and electricity and criticized non-compliance on rehabilitation front. He made it very clear that as per Policy guidelines it is the responsibility of the State to rehabilitate them with an alternate irrigable and cultivable land, and State can't escape this legal/constitutional responsibility. He assured the delegation that the commission will ask Chief Secretary to submit a report within a week over the rehabilitation. Affected persons urged the Commission to send a fact finding mission to Maan Project submergence zone.

On the other hand, littérateurs from all over the country have expressed solidarity with ongoing struggle writing a letter to Chief Minister, and asking him to accept the demands of affected persons immediately. Some 90 writers who signed the petition include Chandrakant Devtale, Vishnu Nagar, Prabhat Tripathi, Vishnu Khare, Jyostna Milan, Manglesh Dabral. In the letter, they have asked the CM to take immediate action for rehabilitation of affected persons with alternate land. The struggle is getting letters of support and solidarity from different organizations. Former Cabinet Minister Madhu Dandvate has also written a letter to C.M. of M.P. expressing his solidarity to the struggle of Maan affected persons and asking them to take immediate action to rehabilitate them with alternate land.

On the 25th day of Dharna and 19th day of indefinite fast, four fasting activists have lost their weight - Chittaroopa Palit has lost 13 kgs, Vinod Patwa has lost 12 kgs, Mangat Verma has lost 10 kgs and Ramkunwar has lost 7 kgs. Though, they are physically weak, they are strong in their determination to fight for justice until State accepts their just demands and ensure their legal rights and entitlements.

Alok Agrawal
Rakesh Patidar