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3:21 pm - Saturday March 18, 6395

Medha forcibly lifted from dharna site

Agencies, Dhar

Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar, who has been on an indefinite fast for the past 12 days, was forcibly lifted from the dharna site in Chikalda on Monday evening. Along with her, eleven other fasting protesters were also arrested.

Policemen in large numbers entered the protest site Chikalda village amidst protest from project affected families, who had been laying siege in the area which will fall under submergence of the SSP. Police used mild force to disperse the angry protesters, before taking Patkar and 11 others into custody.

There was scuffle between the cops and the protesters. Police late resorted to lathi charge in which several people were injured. Nearly 2000 policemen were at the fast site and they came down heavily on those fasting. They used force to break the marquee and when women tried resisting the arrest of Patkar, they were beaten and manhandled by male policemen, said eyewitness accounts.

“The Madhya Pradesh government is arresting me and 11 others who are observing a fast as part of non-violent protest for last 12 days. The action has been taken by the Modi government, Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government.. without detailed dialogue. We believe this use of force is murder of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams in this country,” Patkar told reporters.

Patkar’s indefinite fast for rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Dam oustees entered the 12th day on Monday. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati earlier had urged Patkar to end the hunger strike while expressing concern over her health. Patkar is sitting on fast since July 27 at Chikhalda in Dhar district demanding proper rehabilitation of people from Barwani, Dhar, Alirajpur and Khargone districts who will have to vacate their houses due to the closure of the gates of the dam in neighbouring Gujarat.

Meanwhile, leaders of various outfits have extended their support to Patkar’s agitation. Patidar community leaders, who spearheaded the recent farmers’ protests in western Madhya Pradesh, called on the activist and announced their support for her cause. “We handed over a letter to the NBA assuring them of our support for the ongoing protest.

We will go to other affected places in support of agitators and also talk to the chief minister,” said Madhya Pradesh Patidar Samaj president Mahendra Patidar. NBA claimed various organisations, including trade unions and civil societies, staged a protest in Raipur in Chhattisgarh in support of Patkar.

Posted in: Featured, Madhya Pradesh

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