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Press Release                                 September 28, 1999

HARSUD DAY PLEDGE REITERATED IN DHULE DHARNA
TOKEN FAST BY ARRESTED SATYAGRAHIS
DHARNA CONTINUES

The tribals and peasants of the Narmada valley along with the supports from all over India have today (28th September, 1999) pledged to safeguard the right and resources in the hands of people against destructive development, on the fourth day of the indefinite dharna at Dhule. It was the 10th anniversary of the famous Harsud Rally against the destructive development in Harsud (M.P.), in which hundreds of people's movements from all parts of India participated. Hundreds of tribals and peasants have been continuing the dharna on the fourth day against the repressive policies of the Maharashtra Government and its adamant attitude.

All the 375 arrested satyagrahis from the Narmada valley observed a day's fast in Dhule jail on Tuesday ( 28th) in protest against the adamant attitude of the Government of Maharashtra vis-a-vis the people's struggle against the Sardar Sarovar dam. "The Maharashtra government has no courage to face the issues raised by the people in Narmada valley. It cannot answer the questions of the people", said Devrambhai Kanera. It was revealed that the Dhadgaon police did produce the order of imposing Sec. 151 some hours after arresting the 375 satyagrahis in the morning. There have been serious legal anamolies in the entire police process.

A number of representatives of some more organisations from Gujarat, Kerala, Karnatka, Bengal apart from the prominent people like the noted Marathi literateur Ratnakar Matkari, Maharashtra MLA Mr. J.U. Thakre, National Co-ordinator of National Allince of People's Movements (NAPM), Jashbhai Patel from Gujarat, and people from the tribal belt in Alirajpore tehsil (M.P.) and people from Maharshtra and the Nimad area from the Narmada valley came to participate in the dharna.

Ratnakar Matkari and Sanjay M.G. held programmes in three colleges in Dhule of reading excerpts from the recent book by noted author Arundhati Roy on the Narmada issue. They appealed to the packed halls of sudents and teachers that it was the responsibility of all the people to strengthen the people's movements.

Sanjay Sangvai