Skip to main content

Kidnapping charge against Patkar even though Madhya Pradesh official denied any such thing: Digvijay Singh

Digvijay Singh outside Dhar jail
By Our Representative
In a surprise move, senior Congress leader and ex-chief minister Digvijay Singh met Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar in Dhar jail, Madhya Pradesh, describing her as a "great social worker who has dedicated her entire life to fight for the cause of Narmada dam affected people of the state."
Singh's move comes amidst the Congress high command wary of aligning itself with Patkar or NBA because of the sensitivity involved on Narmada dam in Gujarat, which goes to polls this December. Even though the Narmada dam oustees' problem is politically sensitive in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is steadfastly taking the view that all of them have have been resettled, which is seen as a support to the BJP in Gujarat ahead of the polls.
Meanwhile, in two of the three cases -- pertaining to assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty (Section 353 of IPC) -- instituted against her, the local court granted Patkar bail. NBA now plans to move the Madhya Pradesh High Court over refusal to grant her bail in the third case, regarding alleged kidnapping of revenue department staff by the NBA activists (Section 365 of IPC) on August 1.
Coming out of the jail, Singh told reporters that the FIRs in the cases in which Patkar has been arrested don’t even bear her name, but still, warrant was issued against her. “She has been arrested for alleged kidnapping of government staff, despite the concerned government official telling the Dhar district collector over the phone that he wasn’t kidnapped,” he said.
The day Patkar and others broke their 17 day indefinite fast on August 12, the Madhya Pradesh police foisted cases of disturbing peace, kidnapping and charges on 55 named and 2,500 unnamed NBA activists and its supporters. An NBA source said, most of the cases are related to the incident on August 7 when 2,000 strong police force "violently attacked the fasting protesters, injured 42 and forcibly hospitalised 10 of them in Dhar and Indore Hospitals."
Patkar and her supporters, Dhurji Bhai, Vijay Bhai and Santu Bhai, have completed five days in different jails following their last arrest. NBA says, "All these fabricated cases have been imposed so that movement against the illegal and unjust forced eviction of 40,000 families in the Narmada Valley can be crushed."
In a statement, NBA says, "Police vehicles are roaming around the villages all day and is creating fear in the minds of people", adding, "According to the compiled information, FIRs have been registered against 72 people in 9 cases in Barwani, and FIRs have been filed against 94 people in 12 cases in Kukshi, District Dhar. There are also many other serious charges and non-bailable warrants pending."
"Today, the world recognizes the 32 years of non-violent struggle and Satyagraha of NBA. But the Madhya Pradesh Police, at the behest of the Government, is charging them in cases, such as under section 307, accusing them of being involved in murder and kidnapping", the statement alleges.
A video issued by NBA on August 15 of a song written by Patkar titled "Can we be proud of such independence?" (click HERE) wonders: "When the forests, the life and culture,/
Nurtured for centuries are destroyed forcibly/ Can we be proud of such independence?", insisting, "We shall fight, we shall win!"

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.