India: Defying illegal arrest, Medha & NBA co-activists to continue for Sardar Sarovar justice
Friday April 14 2006
Medha Patkar offers to provide bail bond for release
Says case of attempted suicide against her is illegal
To continue fast till the affected get their rights
Wrong to divide people on crucial issues
Prakash Karat Information sought on report of Ministers
NEW DELHI: Fasting Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on Thursday offered to furnish bail bond to come out of police detention at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here.
Police personnel have been posted outside the intensive cardiac care unit where she was placed after being removed from the Jantar Mantar dharna site. Thursday was the 16th day of their fast.
In a letter to the Parliament Street Station House Officer, Ms. Patkar said the case of attempted suicide against her was illegal. She was on a fast demanding rehabilitation of the affected people of the Sardar Sarovar dam and immediate suspension of construction of the dam in accordance with law, the Constitution and directions of the Supreme Court. "I aspire to live and continue the same till the affected people get their rights."
Responding to the decision on Wednesday of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs to review the decision to raise the Narmada dam height, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat said that while a review meeting should be held, the Government should have simultaneously implemented the Supreme Court guidelines to stop construction of the dam till rehabilitation of the displaced families was completed.
Mr. Karat said it would be "entirely wrong" to divide the people on the crucial issues of resettlement and rehabilitation with regard to the Narmada dam.
He also demanded that the report of the Group of Ministers, who visited the rehabilitation sites and submergence villages in Madhya Pradesh, be made public immediately.
Mr. Karat said any attempt to divide people of Gujarat on the crucial issue of resettlement and rehabilitation was wrong as it was a common problem in several States.
Letter to Manmohan
On Wednesday, Aruna Roy and Shekhar Singh on behalf of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking information within 48 hours under the RTI Act on the report of the GoM and the recommendations made therein.
Invoking the provision in Section 7 (1) of the RTI Act, which lays down 48 hours as the time limit for providing information where the "information sought for concerns the life or liberty of persons," they said the findings and recommendations of the GoM were not only pertinent to the survival of NBA activists who were on hunger-strike but of thousands of families who were on the verge of losing their homes, lands and livelihoods.
Social activist Anna Hazare visited the dam displaced people who are on dharna at the Jantar Mantar. Bhagwatibehn from Madhya Pradesh is on hunger-strike at the site.