Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar, released from the district jail today after granted bail by the High Court, alleged that Narendra Modi government was doing “injustice” to the Narmada dam oustees in Madhya Pradesh with an eye on votes in Gujarat, which is going to polls later this year. Patkar said the Madhya Pradesh government is bent on “suppressing” the voice of those who oppose illegal works as well as the corrupt. The activist, arrested on August 9 on the charge of holding government officials captive during her indefinite fast for full rehabilitation of those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project, was granted bail by the Indore bench of the HC yesterday. “The state government wants to keep those who stop illegal works and put a check on corrupt people, in jails. It is very painful that the state government is doing injustice by concocting charges in courts,” Patkar told reporters.
The activist (62) said she would return to the Narmada valley for the cause of the oustees who are displaced due to closure of the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) in neighbouring Gujarat. “Narmada valley is my home. I will go there. What is happening in the name of rehabilitation of the SSD oustees will not be tolerated. Several of the rehabilitation works, which the government claimed to have completed in its reply to the high court, are in fact yet to be carried out on the ground,” she added.
Patkar said Modi government was responsible for the problems being faced by the displaced people. “Modi government should stop doing injustice to the displaced people, which is being done to reap electoral gains in the Gujarat Assembly polls this year,” she alleged. She said the gates of the SSD have been closed with an eye on the Gujarat polls. Patkar alleged the Madhya Pradesh government had failed to rehabilitate the people in the submergence area of the dam by July 31.
Patkar, who was on indefinite hunger strike at village Chikhalda in Dhar district, was shifted to hospital after her condition deteriorated, and subsequently arrested on August 9.