NBA Press Release
  06 November 2009
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Displaced People Will Converge In Bhopal: Moral Victory For The struggle in the Narmada valley

2, Sai nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa,
Madhya Pradesh
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Email: nobigdams[at]sancharnet.in

On the 1st of January Thousands of displaced people will converge in Bhopal to continue their struggle

Alok Aggarwal Granted Bail By The MP High Court

Today at the ongoing dharna in front of the collectors office, by the displaced people of the Narmada valley, it was declared the fight for the rights of the people of the Narmada valley would intensify in the coming future. It is clear that on the dharna and the agitation of the displaced people thats started on the 28th of October, has gained an ethical and moral victory against all the repression by the state. Even though the State government and The NHDC, misused the law and the force, to thwart the struggle, they have had to face defeat in the face of the strength and courage of the agitating people.

While marking an end to the ongoing Dharna, it was declared that displaced people would renew their agitation for their rights in Bhopal from the 1st of January. The affected people form the Onkareshwar, IndiraSagar, Sardar Sarovar, Maheshwar, Upper Veda, Maan, Bargi dams, pledged that they would continue their struggle till they got their rights.

Today senior activist of the NBA, Alok Aggrawal was granted bail by the high court. The bail was granted by Justice Rajendera Menon. The case was pleaded by senior advocate Shri Arvind Shirivastava. It important to note that on the 4th of November the bail application of 19 of the 20 people arrested during the dharna was granted by the district court. Only senior activists Alok Aggarawal's bail was rejected. But today the High court has ruled in his favor and granted bail.

On the 28th of October 10 thousand people displaced people had held a rally and then collected in front of the collectors office demanding answers to their questions regarding the compliance of the high court orders. They were also demanding land and proper rehabilitation. On the 29th instead of giving answers to people regarding its non compliance , the administration chose to use force and lathi charged the people. 19 people including senior activists Chittarupa Palit, Ramkunwar Rawat, Kamala Yadav were first beaten and then arrested nad sent to jail. On the 30th NBA activist Alok Aggarwal was arrested from the NBA office and the premises were illegally searched and sealed by the district administration.

In protest of such actions by the police the people from the valley continued their dharana in front of the collectors office.

Today at the Sabha organised during the ongoing dharna, the people displaced by the Indira sagar, Maheshwar, Onkaraswer, Sardar Sarovar, Maan, upper Veda and Bargi dam declared that they would intensify the struggle for the rights of all those being displaced in the entire Narmada valley. They would fight for Land For Land, Land to adult Sons, Employment at rehabilitation sites,Rights for fishing, and other such rights related to their lives, livelihoods and dignity. The displaced people demanded that the government should give them land and proper rehabilitation or they should leave the dam sites . To carry this forward they would camp in the state capital Bhopal in large numbers form the 1st of January.

The adolankkaris also said that they would if the contractors at the Indira Sagar reservoir continue to terrorize the displace people through violence , then they would go on a “Machali Sathyagrah”. Thousands of dis[placed people would fish from and eat the fish of the reservoir as prasad form their river.

They also said that in Harda district they would hold a Jan Sunvai against the illegaH withdrawal of money form the bank and post office accounts of many of the displaced people.

Ms Chitarupa Palit,, Ram Kunwanar, Kamala yadav and all the activists who had been arrested said that their resolve to fight against the repressive actions of the state had only got stronger. That such brutal repression has made it clear to them that it is only through the collective action and unity that they will be able to fight for their rights. In the way that the andolankaris and the people of the valley have stood against the violence and misdeeds of the administration, is for them a moral victory. And we will fight for a complete victory.

The andolankaris also said that the NHDC director Rajesh Dongre should take back the his unsubstantiated allegation of the NBA being Anti national (desh droh), that he has accused the NBA of. If he doesn't do so within three days, they have will file a defamation suit against him. They further said that the andolan is of the poor and marginalized farmers and laborers and it is run with full transparency on contributions by the people. No company can stop the andolan form continuing its work on its own resources. They declared that on the 15th of December the andolan would make public its audit account of the past decade.

Meanwhile the support to the andolan from various parts of the country continues. Yesterday in Delhi around 25 social activists protested outside the Madhya Pradesh Bhawan. The protesters gave a memorandum to the resident commissioner . the memorandum addressed to the chief minester Shivraj Chauhan demanded that the state should curb its repression of the andolan and instead work towards giving the displaced people their rights, by giving them agricultural land. The representative group who gave this memorandum to the commissioner comprised of Senor advocate Prashant Bhushan, Gautam Navlakha ( PUDR), Prof Subhendu Ghosh (Delhi university) and representatives from Delhi forum, Azadi Bachao Andolan, Matu jan sanghatan etc.

Narmada Bachao Andolan also expresses solidarity and gratitude to all movements, groups and supporters in different parts of the country who showed solidarity and and stood with the movement through these difficult times. It also thanks all individuals , lawyers and journalists of khandwa who stood up for the democratic rights of people and played and active and aware role within a democracy.

Kailash Yadav Ramkunwar Rawat Gajraj Singh