NBA Press Release
  08 September 2008
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Narmada oustees demonstrate at various places in front of Chief Minister: Activists of movement illegally detained

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

Oustees demand that State Government withdraw application for increasing water level in Omkareshwar dam

Opposition to proposal for submergence without R&R

Hundreds of oustees of the Narmada projects demonstrated at many places in the Narmada valley today, face to face with the Jan-Ashirwad yatra (People's blessing yatra) of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan. The oustees demanded that the State Government should take back the application for filling the Omkareshwar reservoir up to 193 meters filed by it in the High Court in the Narmada Bachao case straight away. The police illegally detained the activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan - Ms. Ramkuwar Rawat, Shruti Jain, Shri Gajraj Singh and others in the Punasa thana during the course of these protests.

During the Jan Ashirwad yatra of the Chief Minister Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh, the Narmada dam oustees demonstrated at several places. Around 3000 oustees demonstrated at Hantia Baba near Village Sulgaon in Khandwa in front of the Chief Minister. When the Chief Minister was compelled to come out of his rath to talk to the people, the oustees told him that they would not accept submergence without R&R at any cost, and that the State Government must withdraw the application to fill the Omkareshwar reservoir without completion of R&R from the High Court. Thousands of blue flags of the Andolan were shown to the Chief Minister in protest at voices were raised in slogans - 'Shivraj Singh Chauhan Hosh me aao - Bina Punarwas mat Doobao" (Shiraj Singh Chauhan, regain your consciousness, do not submerge without rehabilitation) Bina Punarwas Ujadna band karo, band karo (Without Rehabilitation, stop displacing people)

After this, hundreds of oustees demonstrated at the meeting of the Chief Minister at Punasa in Khandwa and demanded that oustees should not be displaced without proper R&R. During the demonstration of the oustees at Punasa, the police manhandled the demonstrators and siezed banners and flags. Despite this, the oustees demonstrated at the Chief Minister's meeting, gave slogans, and warned him that the oustees are not prepared to submerge without R&R, and if any attempt to made to drown us without R&R, we will drown the Government.

The NBA condemns the repressive tactics of the State Government in illegally detaining the activists of the movement for some hours, and demands that the oustees should be resettled and rehabilitated as per the scheme of the Government, or that the Government must empty the reservoirs and give the lands back to the villagers.

The oustees of the Indira Sagar Project demonstrated with flags and banners in front of the stage during the meeting of the Chief Minister at Moondi in Khandwa, and warned the Chief Minister of the consequences of the State Government's callous attitude and attempt to flood out the people to benefit the NHDC/NHPC in making super-profits at the cost of the oustees.

The demonstrations were led by Ramkuwar Rawat, fiery tribal woman activist, Bhagwan Mukati, senior NBA activist, Shruti Jain and Gajraj Singh, activist of the NBA, among others.

Dharamraj Jain, Bhagwan Mukati, Alok Agarwal, Chittaroopa Palit