NBA Press Release
  28 October 2009
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Lathicharge on Displaced People, Police Atrocity instead of Rights, Repression instead of Execution of Court Orders

2, Sai nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa,
Madhya Pradesh
Tel/FAX: 0733-2228418, 9425394606, 9425928007
Email: nobigdams[at]sancharnet.in

The displaced people of Indira Sagar dam and Omkareshwar dam protesting peacefully at the District Collectorate, Khandwa, instead of being given their just rights, were subjected to lathi-charge and chased for long distances by the police. Senior activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan – Chittaroopa Palit and Ramkunwar were beaten up brutally. Many of the affected people have also sustained injuries and many of these have been arrested.

Yesterday, thousands of displaced persons from these dams had collected at the District headquarter at Khandwa to press for their demands of rightful rehabilitation from the state government and NHDC. They demanded answers from the authorities regarding non-execution of the orders passed in the favour of the displaced by the High Court.

On 23rd September 2009, the High Court had directed that all the cheques drawn in favour of the displaced persons and stopped by the NHDC may be paid up immediately. In addition, it was directed that the accounts of displaced families of 5 villages of Dewas district affected by the Omkareshwar dam, that had been stopped by NHDC, be credited with immediate effect. It is to be noted that the state government and NHDC has no logical answers to give to the people why these orders have not been followed even though more than a month’s time has passed. Today too, on the second day of the dharna by the displaced people, the state government and NHDC had no answers to offer to this question. Instead it resorted to brutal lathi-charge in response to the just demands and questions of the people.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan condemns this cruel and repressive act of the state government and NHDC subjected to the destitute displaced population instead of giving them their just rights. This incident once again reveals the anti-displaced character of the government. It is clear that no rule of law exists in Madhya Pradesh that can ensure the fulfillment of rights of the displaced people or the execution of the orders and directions of the High Court.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan declares that all displaced people of the Narmada valley will protest against this police atrocity. The displaced have now begun an indefinite dharna in front of the Collectorate at Khandwa. The andolan demands that:

· all the displaced people be released unconditionally and immediately.

· The just rehabilitation rights of the displaced people be fulfilled.

· The officials responsible for the police brutality today and those responsible for the non-fulfillment of the court orders be punished.

The displaced people are avowed to face all hardships and roadblocks and fight for their rights till the end.

Alok Agrawal