Skip to main content

Narmada oustees' Rally for Valley stopped, Gujarat cops detain Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, Nita Mahadev

By Our Representative
Senior leaders of Rally for the Valley, organized by India’s well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by top social activist Medha Patkar, were detained at Gujarat border’s Kavta checkpost near Kavta village in Chhotaudaipur district of Gujarat, as they tried to enter the state from Madhya Pradesh, on Wednesday afternoon.
Among those who were detained included top Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, winner of this year's prestigious environmental Nobel, Goldman Award, and top Gujarat Gandhian Nita Mahadev. They were stopped and detained by the police, which has refused to grant to Rally for the Valley a permission to enter Gujarat and take the rally to the state's villages. It rally was scheduled to pass through the Narmada district to reach Maharashtra.
Calling it an attack on the “constitutional rights of citizens of this country”, NBA in a statement said, the Rally for the Valley, which consists of hundreds of activists and Narmada dam oustees, was to pass through Gujarat and reach Jeevanshala, a school run by Narmada Navnirmaan Abhiyan of Chimalkhedi, Maharashtra.
“The police officials failed to produce any written order. Even the vehicles with Gujarat number plate and local buses were stopped from crossing the border”, NBA alleged in a statement, adding, this is nothing but “rampant suppressing people’s voices and their constitutional rights.”
Earlier, the police imposed Section 144 in the area where the NBA rally was to pass from Gujarat, prohibiting more than four persons to gather at one place. Apart from detaining Patkar and other activists, police also detained students, who had come from all over India to participate in the Rally of the Valley
In its last leg, the Rally for the Valley, which began on June 5, World Environment Day, did not face any such problem in Madhya Pradesh. On June 6, thousands of Narmada dam oustees gathered for a public meeting in the submergence zone village of Nisarpur, Madhyya Pradesh as part of the three-day campaign, which was kicked off in Indore.
Addressing the mass meeting, Mahadev, who heads Gujarat Lok Samiti, said, the Modi government has been “pressing for completion for the Narmada dam by closing its gates just to reap political benefit before the Gujarat assembly elections.”
Pointing out that it is impossible to rehabilitate thousands of the oustees before July 31, as desired by the Madhya Pradesh government, Mahadev the government has been seeking to use force to show that all the people had been adequately rehabilitated.
“Water that is currently being diverted from the dam to Gujarat is not reaching farmers but is being sold to corporations and cities”, she alleged, even as Gujarat’s revolutionary songwriter and singer Vinay Mahajan infused sang songs on the need to use non-violent ways in the face of brutal state terror.
Speaking at the public meeting, a class 6 child and a resident of the submergence zone village, Nisarpur, Ankita Soni Pankaj, asked the Prime Minister: “You live in bungalows, wear suits worth lakhs, travel abroad… What do you have for us?”
Those who spoke included Surendra Singh Baghel, MLA, Kukshi, Gajendra Singh, ex-MP, Congress, Patkar, Samantara, Jaswinder Singh Kaur of the All India Kisan Sabha, Dr Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti’s Aradhana Bhargav, National Alliance of People’s Movement’s Madhuresh Kumar, and others.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.