NBA Press Note

October 21, 2000

Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda, Gujarat.
Telefax: 0265-382232
58, M.G.Road, Badwani, M.P.
Tel: 07290-22464

Protest Rally Against Supreme Court Verdict At Badwani On Oct.23
Noted Legal Luminary Jst.Krishna Iyer calls for a Review of Judgment

People in the Narmada valley would hold a protest rally and meeting, on Monday (October 23) at Badwani (M.P.), against the Supreme Court judgement allowing the work on the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). Apart from hundreds of villagers from all parts of the valley, number of supporters of the fifteen year long struggle, including noted author Arundhati Roy, would be present to express their solidarity with the struggle on that day.

This is the first public response of the people from the valley to the judgment. NBA has already rejected the judgement as most illogical, atrocious, anti-democratic and anti-people verdict. There has been widespread criticism of the verdict by various organizations and prominent people. Noted human rights activist and former judge of Supreme Court, V.R. Krishna Iyer opined against the majority judgement while approving the dissenting judgement by Justice Bharucha. He said: "I appeal to the judicial conscience of the highest court and the equity sense of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra cabinets not to put one stone more on the dam until the last and the least human who is rendered homeless, consequence on Narmada dam is given shelter in dignity". He appealed for a review of the judgement by the Supreme Court also. Number of legal luminaries, experts, scientists, litterateurs have condemned the verdict as "the worst judgement in the history of the Supreme Court". Organisations of Indians residing in the US like "The Friends of River Narmada" and other progressive organisations also condemned this verdict and vowed to support Narmada Bachao Andolan in future struggle.

Earlier, in a daylong meeting on October 20th at Badwani, the main village leaders and activists from Adivasi and non-Adivasi villages, analyzed the judgement of the Supreme Court and unanimously rejected it. The people decided to fight against the injustice and grave mistakes, untruths contained in the majority judgement and not to leave under the threat of impending submergence. The people made it clear that the Court has ignored number of facts and realities and made number of unsubstantiated observations, having serious impact on the lives and resources of hundreds and thousands of people. They have decided to launch the vigorous agitation to assert their rights and against the ill-conceived Supreme Court judgement. As a first step, they will be holding the Badwani rally against the dam.

The people also have appealed to all the people's organizations, movements and groups, all the citizens who value the democracy, justice and truth to oppose the unjust verdict and be with the people's struggle in he Narmada valley.

Sanjay Sangvai