All India Protests Against Forced Arrest of Medha Patkar & Others

Written by SabrangIndia Staff | Published on: August 8, 2017
Protests erupted in various parts of India against the brutal arrest of Medha Patkar, Pushpa Bahan, Dharmendra Bhai and 7 more people sitting on a fast since July 27 to protest against the abysmal rehabilitation of Narmada evacuees. A communique of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) said that Bhagwati Bahan and Rukmani Bahan are continuing their fast along with 10 people at Chikhalda
Medha Patkar, leader of the NBA has been hospitalised in Indore's Bombay Hospital while the rest of the protesters have been kept at Dhar. It is alleged that the police have not allowing anybody to stay with Medha Patkar.


 Bhopal                                                                                                                                   Bengaluru
Chinmay Mishra and Bilal Khan were reportedly interrogated for half an hour at separate places when they tried to meet Medha Patkar today.

The S
hivraj Singh government has been, according to NBA misleading people under the guise of showing concern for the health of the fasting protesters, in actuality detaining them and not allowing any free access to be with the protesters.

Meanwhile, the NBA has approached the
​​​​​​National Human Rights Commission, with a petition that has asked for strict action to be taken against the violent attack by police officials and others involved, yesterday.

A Representation has also been made to Indian Ambassador in Rome and Harare, and a separate representation to the UN Rapporteur on Housing
New Delhi | August 08, 2017 : Today, people across the country protested against the high handed action of MP Police of the Dhar and Badwani administration which used excessive force leaving 48 people injured, some of them were admitted to ICU in Badwani.

In Delhi, more than 50 protestors marched to the MP Bhavan and submitted the memorandum demanding immediate release of all the people from the hospital and allow them to discuss their next course of action.

They have also demanded action against the District Magistrate, SP and other officials responsible for the high handedness of the Police forces and initiate dialogue with the Narmada Bachao Andolan and urged a solution for the problems of the 40000 Saradar  Sarovar Dam affected families.

With this, a delegation of Hannan Mollah (former MP), Yogendra Yadav (Swaraj Abhiyaan), Kavita Krishnan (AIPWA), Satyavan Ji (AIKKMS), Manimala Ji and Snehlata Shukla (DSG) submitted the memorandum to the Deputy Resident Commissioner and Joint Resident Commissioner under signed by more than 30 representatives of people’s organization. Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Rajendra Ravi (NAPM), Sandeep Pandey (Socialist Party of India), Faisal Khan (Khudai Khidmatgar), Bhupendra Singh Rawat (Jan Sangharsh Vahini), Ramesh Sharma (SUCI (C)) and many others were part of the protest.

Madhuresh Kumar, National Convener, NAPM gave a brief account of yesterday's incident and said that the government has used these violent tactics before but that the NBA will keep the fight on. Since yesterday Medha Patkar and others admitted in Indore and Dhar hospitals respectively, with limited access. The Govt. has maintained that they are concerned about their health and they have only been hospitalized.

If they are merely hospitalized then shouldn’t they be treated like normal patients with visitation rights by their colleagues, friends and, family?

While the government is making false  claims that they are concerned about their health would have meant that, all 12 should have been kept in the same hospital at least. Instead, 9 of the fasting protesters are in Dhar district hospital and two Rukmani Bahan and Bhagwati Bahan were left at the Dharna site itself where they still continue to fast.

Yogendra Yadav, expressed a serious concern and said that the we are asking very basic things, rehabilitation of all the affected people and on the issues, MP government is both misleading the publuc and using forces on peaceful protestors. The movement has exposed the development model and given us courage to ask what development means for us?

Bhubhaneshwar                                                                                                                     Hyderabad

Sandeep Pandey said that government is not acting for the benefits of the people. Just as the Gujarat government destroyed the Sabarmati River, now the MP Govt. and government of India are doing the same with people of Narmada Valley. Kavita Krishnan extended her full solidarity to the people of Narmada Valley and said that she believes that the movement will fight out the atrocious govt and win the battle for the rights of people. Satyavan Ji, Bhupendra Singh Rawat and many others also extended their solidarity to the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the people and asked strict actions against the brutal attack on the people happened yesterday evening.

NAPM has states that they believe the whole use of force was aime at breaking the spirit of their peaceful protest and there was no concern for their well being. Or else, the government would have initiated dialogue much before this. Shivraj Singh’s claim to be a sensitive CM but it is not visible in your actions. Words don’t mean anything to us.

NAPM has condemned the high handed action of police forces who came with baton fixed with nails. This is a serious violation of human rights of the people sitting on peaceful fast fighting against the illegal drowning of more than 40000 families in Narmada Valley.

Series of action protest demonstration all over the country and internationally:

1.      Rome, Italy : Representation made to Indian Ambassador
2.      Harare, Zimbabwe : Representation made to Indian Ambassador
3.      Representation made to UN Rapporteur on Housing
4.      Bengaluru, Karnataka : Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and Green Brigade announced full pledged solidarity to Narmada Bachao Andolan and Medha Patkar.
5.      Tumkur, Karnataka : Protest demonstration by people of various organisations in support of NBA.
6.      Hyderabad, Telangana : Protest demonstration by Human Rights Forum and other organisations.
7.      Pune, Maharashtra : Rally by people in support to NBA by Lokayat, Rashtriya Seva Dal and other supporters.
8.      Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh : Silent Protest and Human Chain by sensitive people against the brutal attack of police forces on people of Narmada Valley.
9.      Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh : Solidarity fast against the arrest of Medha Patkar and people of Narmada Valley by NAPM and Joint Action committee, Varanasi.
10.  Bhubneshwar, Odisha : Protest in support of Narmada Valley by Lok Shakti Abhiyaan and NAPM, Odisha.
11.  Chikhalda, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh : Protest by students of Salsabeel Green School against arrest of Medha Patkar and others.

New Delhi                                                                                                                             New Delhi

Pune                                                                                                                        Salsabeel Green School

Tumkur                                                                                                                       Varanasi

Supreme Court, after agreeing to hear the matter today, decided not to interfere in the ongoing proceedings at Indore High Court, Monitoring Compliance of its February 8, 2017 Order. Meanwhile the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has stated that it will continue its legal and ground fight till full justice is achieved to all in Narmada Valley. NBA will decide on continued indefinite fast of Medha Patkar and 21 others only after she is allowed full access in hospital. As of now she remains arrested in a Hospital in Indore. 

New Delhi, August 8 :  The SLP filed by Bhagirath Dhangar and ors Vs State of MP came today for hearing. The matter was argued by Shri Fali Nariman, Sanjay Parikh and Prashant Bhushan. By order dated 08.02.2017, the Supreme Court had directed rehabilitation of the oustees; SC had also said that the oustees have to vacate, by 31.07.2017, otherwise forcible eviction will take place. As per the said order, entire R&R and work at the rehabilitation sites was to be completed. As R&R was not done as per SC judgments of 2000 and 2005 and the order dated 08.02.2017, some of the oustees had filed writ petition along with 602 interveners in High Court, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. 

Against the interim order passed by the High Court, the oustees had filed the special leave petition. The SLP was filed against the orders dated 19.06.2017 and 13.07.2017. in the order dated 13.07.2017, the High Court had sought a report on status of rehabilitation, rehabilitation sites and had adjourned the matter to 01.08.2017.

Today, the Supreme Court at this stage decided not to interfere with the proceedings pending before the Indore High Court as it was against interim orders and the High Court is already monitoring the R&R. As a matter of fact when the writ petition came up for hearing on 01.08.2017, the High Court adjourned it to 10.08.2017, as the SLP was listed today, on 08.08.2017. Now the High Court will continue to monitor R&R where the petition is listed for hearing on 10.08.2017 

Narmada Bachao Andolan has complete faith in that justice will be done. After the violent attack and arrest by the MP govt on fasting protesters yesterday, till today the access to Medha Patkar in Indore hospital and Dharmendra Bhai, Pushpa behan and others at Dhar hospital is still restricted. NBA condemns this and demands immediate access. As of now the indefinite fast continues in hospital and also 10 new people have started fasting at the Chikalda village along. Only when Medha Ji and others are released and allowed full access to her colleagues, a decision on continuing indefinite fast will be undertaken after collective discussions, said the NBA. 

We will continue to fight this until justice is done to the 40,000 families in the Narmada Valley.