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

Socialist Organizations Condemn Atrocities in Sardar Sarovar, Maan Dam Areas in Narmada Valley

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

Prominent Socialist and Human rights leaders and organizations from various parts of India have strongly condemned the inhuman and illegal displacement efforts in the Sardar Sarovar and the Maan dam areas in the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh and demanded that the Chief Minister Digvijay Singh must immediately stop the atrocities and the acts of forcible displacement. They demanded the government must start a dialogue with the Narmada Bachao Andolan regarding the contentious issues like displacement, cost-benefit of SSP and Maan dams. They also called for the stoppage of the continuing construction on the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) beyond 90 meters. The activists expressed concern for the falling health of the activists on the indefinite fast against Maan dam in Bhopal.

In the separate memorandums regarding the SSP and Maan issues, issued from Pune on Monday (June 3), at the conclusion of national level conference of the Socialist activists from all over India, veteran leader Surendra Mohan, President of People's Union for Civil Liberties, Rajinder Sachar, President of Rashtra Seva Dal, Bhai Vaidya, former member of Parliament Bapu Kaldate, noted economist and former Union Finance Secretary, S.P. Shukla, Madhya Pradesh legislator and leader of Kisan Sangharsha Samiti Dr. Sunilam, senior Social workers Mastram Kapoor, Razia Patel, Surekha Dalvi, Pannalal Surana, Anwar Rajan and others accused the M.P. government of indulging in the state terrorism to oust the adivasis and farmers from the Narmada valley.

The activists strongly objected to the notices for displacement till June 5, given to 6,000 families in 38 villages in Nimad area in SSP submergence. They protested that hundreds of police and bulldozers were used to intimidate the people in the Nimad villages, while a reign of terror was in the tribal areas by cutting, burning the trees in the villages and beating and arresting the activists. They contended that the M.P. government is indulging in the illegal displacement, as it has no land for the oustees for resettlement as per the provisions of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT). They said, "The state government can stop the work on the SSP dam beyond 90 meters, if it is concerned with the rights of people. It is surprising that the Madhya Pradesh lawyer supported the increase in the height in the Supreme Court recently, when the state failed to resettle the people hitherto ousted and there is no land for future oustees. What is it that makes an experienced politician like you go against the people of one's own state?". They also exposed Mr. Singh for his well cultivated "Green CM" image while indulging in wanton destruction of trees in SSP and Maan areas.

The leaders noted that the state government could not show any cultivable land for the resettlement of the Maan oustees, all of who are tribals. The demanded that the government must seek a dialogue with the people on dharna and indefinite fast in Bhopal and asked that no work on Maan dam be continued in such a situation which will submerge and displace more area.

The organizations demanding justice to the people and stoppage of atrocities included Shoshit Jan Andolan ( Maharashtra), Hind Mazdoor Sabha, M.P. (Mr. Bhanage), Madhya Pradesh JanataDal (S) leaders, Ram Lakhan Singh, M.W. Siddiqui, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Janata Dal (Secular), Peasants and Agriculture Labourers Union, Shramik Kranti Sangathana, Samata Pratishthan (Maharashtra). The Socialist activists, working in different organizations and parties gathered in Pune on June 1-3, 2002. At the end of rthe conference, it was decided to form a common front -Socialist Front- of the organizations, activists and parties, who believe in ideals of Socialism- equality and justice, and working for an alternative development model. The new Socialist Front unequivocally supported the cause of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Sanjay Sangvai