NBA Press Release
  25 September 2001
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

MAHARASHTRA GOVT. ADAMANT ON NOT CONCEDING LAND RIGHTS TO TRIBALS
NINTH DAY OF INDEFINITE FAST: ACTIVISTS WEAK BUT RESOLUTE:
DELEGATION REFUSES TO LEAVE SECRETARIAT

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-282232
Email: baroda@narmada.org

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464
Email: badwani@narmada.org

The Government of Maharashtra seems to be adamant of conceding nothing during its ongoing negotiations with the Narmada Bachao Andolan till late evening today, Tuesday (September 25), even as the indefinite fast by Medha Patkar, Seetaram Patidar, Himmat Pawra and others continued for ninth day.

According to the latest information regarding the continuing discussions with the delegation of the NBA, accompanied by the senior political leaders in Maharashtra, the state government is still refusing to concede the legitimate land-rights of the seventy three villages. Even after the pleading by the leaders like Prof. N.D. Patil of the Peasants and Workers Even on the issue of the rehabilitation and displacement of the oustees of the SSP, the government appeared to be adamant. The officials are against the acceptance or the report by Justice Daud Committee, which was appointed by the state government itself.

The NBA team and the supporters, including N.D.Patil, Bhai Vaidya, Mrinal Gore and others at the negotiations have resolved that they would not leave the Mantralaya ( Secretariat) till the issues regarding the land-rights and the land rights and displacement-resettlement are resolved.

Meanwhile, thought the conditions of those on the indefinite fast has further worsened on the ninth day, Medha Patkar and others are determined not to relent and they would continue their fast. The protestors on dharna have also determined to oppose any attempt by the state government to forcibly arrest the fasting activists.

In a separate incident, about hundred college students and a dozen artists from Mumbai created a stir as they held protest demonstrations at the gate of the Mantralaya, defying the strict prohibitory orders. The artists and students painted the square and raised slogans protesting against the Maharashtra governments adamancy. All the protestors were later arrested by the police.

Prominent social activists, writers, jurists and journalists from Delhi have appealed the Maharashtra Chief Minister to immediately take concrete steps regarding the issues raised by the ongoing dharna of Narmada Bachao Andolan in Mumbai, as the fast entered ninth day on Tuesday (Sept.25). In a letter to the C.M., senior journalists Prabhash Joshi, N. Ram, former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray, educationist Anil Sadgopal and renowned writer Arundhati Roy along with number of academicians, advocates asked to confer land rights to the tribals in 73 villages Akrani tehsil and to accept the Justice Daud committee report regarding the displacement and rehabilitation of the Maharashtra tribals affected the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Sanjay Sangvai