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Badwani, Madhya Pradesh. August 14, 2017: The day Medha Patkar and others broke their 17 day indefinite fast, Madhya Pradesh police foisted cases of disturbing peace, kidnapping and many other trumped up charges on 55 named and 2,500 unnamed project affected and activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan. Most of the cases are related to the incident on August 7th when 2,000 strong police force violently attacked the fasting protesters, injured 42 and forcibly hospitalised 10 of them in Dhar and Indore Hospitals. This itself speaks volumes of the terror and oppression being unleashed in the Narmada valley today.

Medha Patkar, Dhurji Bhai, Vijay Bhai, Santu Bhai have completed five days in different jails of Madhya Pradesh today. All these fabricated cases have been imposed so that movement against the illegal and unjust forced eviction of 40000 families in the Narmada Valley can be crushed. Police vehicles are roaming around the villages all day and is creating fear in the minds of people, however, people stand firm in their villages for their rights. According to the compiled information, FIRs have been registered against 72 people in 9 cases in Barwani, and FIRs have been filed against 94 people in 12 cases in Kukshi, District Dhar. There are also many other serious charges and non-bailable warrants pending. While, the government maintains stoic silence on the demands of the people, the police are busy in naming activists and displaced persons in false cases.

Today, the world recognizes the 32 years of non-violent struggle and Satyagraha of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. But the Madhya Pradesh Police, at the behest of the Government is charging them in cases, such as under section 307, accusing them of being involved in murder and kidnapping. This is highly condemnable and can only be termed as actions aimed at hiding the failures of the government. The police should be working to protect the public and implementing the laws, not to suppress the people struggling for the rights. Unfortunately, what we see is the same old tactics of the government, where they have resorted to such tactics to suppress the democratic voice of different movements across the country.

Narmada Bachao Andolan condemns such actions of the police and administration. We also want to reiterate that, our movement is non-violent and it is the State and its different bodies which are unleashing violence and terror in the Narmada valley. We consider the attempted submergence of the 40,000 families in the Narmada Valley, also an act of state violence, which will kill many dreams and livelihoods.

On the Independence Day, as we greet all the countrymen, we also ask, is this freedom not for people of Narmada Valley ? Is this freedom not for the falsely implicated non-violent movement activists like, Medha Patkar and three others, who are lodged in the prison? Does struggle for rights of people, enable government to take our freedom ? Can we remain quiet, when we see so much repression and inequity in this society ? We can’t. We in Narmada Valley are struggling with these questions today and invite our fellow countrymen and women to join us in struggle for true independence.

It is rightly said that, when injustice becomes law, then the struggle becomes duty. We in Narmada Valley believe it’s our duty to continue to fight for the ideals enshrined in the Constitution and for freedom and justice through non-violent means and Satyagraha. Our fight is not only for the Narmada Valley but for the humanity and well being of mother earth. We remain committed to this struggle.

On the eve of independence, we also present to you the song we wrote more than two decades ago, which remains relevant even today. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaQJ3-YtTog&feature=youtu.be

We shall fight, we shall win !

Shyama Behen, Bhagwati Bai, Pushpa Bai, Rahul Yadav, Gendaram Bhai, Bachuram Bhilala, Rohit, Pawan Yadav, Mukesh Bhagoria

Contact: 9179617513/9867348307

3 Comments

  1. We shall overcome.

  2. Pingback: On Independence Day Leaders Of Narmada Bachao Andolan To Remain In Jail – Journal of People

  3. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The pathetic state of ‘ independence ‘ of people is reflected in narmada valley oppression by the rulers. The struggle towards true independence has begun and must be intensified