| NBA Press Release
|| 09 May 2006
NBA Activists and Supporters Protest the Supreme Court's Anti-People Judgement
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
The 8 May 2006 order of the Supreme Court was the final blow against the people of the Narmada Valley. Even though it has been clearly established by multiple committees that rehabilitation of the affected under the current dam height has not taken place, the Court failed to halt construction of the dam. The Supreme Court's latest decision violates not just the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, but more shockingly, its own prior judgements.
Despite clear evidence that rehabilitation has failed, the new V K Shunglu Committee has been asked to submit its report to the Prime Minister by June 30. The Gujarat government, however, claims that it will complete construction of the dam height to 122 metres by June 30. By the time the Prime Minister reviews the report on 3 July and the Supreme Court hears the case again on 7 July, it will be too late. Given the circumstances, what is the purpose of this Committee other than to do a post-mortem?
On 9 May, NBA activists and their supporters organized a protest outside the Supreme Court in Delhi to express their disappointment, shock, and loss of faith in the Court. In particular, they questioned the Supreme Court's contempt of its own orders, including one delivered by the same bench a year ago. The protestors also condemned the silence of the Prime Minister on the matter and the constant "passing of the buck' between the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister, with neither taking final responsibility.
Several eminent people, including writers, film-makers, journalists, and leaders and members of people's movements staged a dharna and protest in front of the Supreme Court. Apart from objecting to the latest Narmada decision, they also questioned the host of anti-people and anti-poor judgements of the Supreme Court ranging from orders for demolitions of slums to eviction of hawkers. The participants strongly resolved to challenge such disturbing trends through a large national people's movement and affirmed their commitment to taking the struggle to new levels.
Even though the decision of the Supreme Court is against the truth and against us, the people of the Valley have not been defeated. We will continue our fight for justice, irrespective of what the Supreme Court decides.