NAPM in a press statement said here that in response to the indefinite fast led by 11 Sardar Sarovar Dam affected people and Medha Patkar in Chikhalda, the State Government sent police forces and "attacked the peaceful meeting going on there around 6pm today." Medha Patkar, four other women and one man have been arrested from the protest site.
Other six are continuing their indefinite fast. According to the statement, there was no attempt to talk to the protesters sitting on fast "against the illegal and unjust drowning and forceful eviction of more than 40 thousand families in Narmada Valley residing there without complete and just rehabilitation. "For last 12 days, the Government made no effort to have any dialogue," it said, adding that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Central Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti were asking to break the fast, but no attempt was being made to initiate dialogue regarding the issue of rehabilitation.
The NAPM charged that since this morning , the administration had been mobilising heavy police force and in the evening they started breaking the Pandal and initiated the baton charge in a desperate bid to arrest the fasting protesters. "Is this violent response justified in a democratic country? The Shivraj Singh Government is anti-farmer, anti-Adivasi," said Ms Patkar before the violence began. NAPM as well as Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) have strongly condemned the action and resolved that the agitation would continue. (?UNI)