NBA Press Release
  26 June 2007
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Police brutality on the 21st day of indefinite fast: A dozen activists suffer attack of police's fists, boots and lathis

2, Sai nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa,
Madhya Pradesh
Tel/FAX: 0733-2228418, 09425394606, 09425928007
Email: nobigdams[at]sancharnet.in

Angry dam affected protesters lay siege on Collectorate

The sit-in and indefinite fast will continue

Agitation to intensify in Bhopal from June 30th: declares Andolan

The district administration today once again showed its brutal face by beating up the peaceful activists of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dam affected people who were holding their dharna and indefinite fast. About 150 police people came to the dharna site on the pretext of taking the hunger strikers to the hospital, but they ended up beating up about a dozen people, including the satyagrahis on fast with their fists, boots and lathis. All limits of inhumanity were broken when the police did not even spare a 70 year old woman Laxmi Bai of Toki village. Two other women are serious due to injuries pne in the head (Jubba Bai of Kukshi) and one in her chest region (Arpinna Bai of Navalpura). After this brutal police action Chittaroopa Palit and Bhagwan Mukati two of the hunger strikers on the 21st day of their fast led the agitationists towards the Collectorate. They then lay the Collectorate under siege.

It is to be noted here that the affected people of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dams have been participating in this sit-in since the last 23 days and five people were on fast since 21 days. It is a cause of grave concern and sadness that the district administration chose to further terrorise the hapless displaced people instead of accepting their just and legal demands. But this atrocity has further strengthened the resolve of the people. They have declared that they will not cower in the face of government tyranny. They have decided to intensify their struggle for their just rights and take it to the state capital, Bhopal.

About 150 policemen and 10-12 police-women arrived at the dharna site and demanded to take away two of the hunger strikers Suraj Bai and Krishna Bai to hospital due to their deteriorating health. The satyagrahis were not even given time to consider this demand and give their response. Instead all the policemen pounced on the satyagrahis on a fast since 21 days. They were beaten up and dragged and arrested. 70 year old Laxmi Bai of village Toki was also badly beaten. To top it all, it was policemen who were carrying out all this beating on women activists. The women police had been brought, it seems, for the sake of a facade only.

In addition to those severely hurt like Jubba Bai of Kukshi and Arpinna Bai of Navalpura, Dhali Bai (Kamankheda), Laxmi bai (Toki), Jankari Bai (Sukwa), Jamuna Bai (Toki) and Saga Bai (Kamankheda) were also injured so that they had to be hospitalized. The police and administrations terror was not only limited to the dharna site. SDM Shri Vyas went in the Intensive Care Unit were the hunger strikers had been admitted and threatened to slap Krishna Bai one of the satyagrahis.

In the last 20 days these affected people have recorded over 12000 complaints on issues of rehabilitation and other grievances. But the administration chose to turn a blind eye to these complaints and instead beat the unfortunate displaced people black and blue.

The displaced people of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dam have now declared that they will take their struggle to the state capital of Bhopal and intensify it there. They will neither discontinue their dharna, not break their indefinite fast. If no favourable decision is taken by the state administration by June 29th, then the dharna and fast will be shifted to Bhopal on June 30th.

Nandram Baba
Rehmat
(Village Hathnora)