Skip to main content

Madhya Pradesh HC grants bail to Medha Patkar, in jail for 15 days: BJP workers' resignation spree continues

Protest in a Madhya Pradesh village
By Our Representative
In a major relief, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader  Medha Patkar was granted bail by Madhya Pradesh's Indore High Court on Wednesday. She was denied bail by the sessions court in a kidnapping case instituted against her by the state police.
Hailing it as a major victory against the "repressive Madhya Pradesh government", which allegedly came down "heavily on the peaceful protest against forceful eviction and illegal unjust submergence" in the Narmada valley, NBA said, three activist-oustees, Vijay, Santu and Dhurji, who were jailed along with Patkar, are facing more serious charges, including attempt to murder, and  their bail application would be heard on Thursday.
Patkar is expected to be released on Thursday from Dhar jail where she has spent 15 days, during which period  NBA supporters across Madhya Pradesh and other states staged massive protests for her release, calling charges against her fake and arbitrary.
An NBA statement said, Patkar's arrest was "an attempt of the government to divert the focus of the movement from legitimate demands of complete and just rehabilitation as per the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal award for resettling Narmada dam oustees."
It added, apart from Patkar, the state government in Badwani was "targeting key activists of NBA by putting false charges on them."
Protests have been so strong that,  says NBA, that local BJP leaders have begun to resign from the party, "disappointed with the callousness of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh towards Narmada oustees.".
The latest in the series of resignations is that of the chief of village Bajrikheda along with other members. Earlier, BJP members of village Khapadkheda in large numbers resigned from the party. Both these villages fall in Dhar district.

Four days ago, office-bearers of Kadmal unit of the ruling BJP resigned en masse, saying Patkar was fighting for those living along the river Narmada, and instead of saving and rehabilitating the people facing inundation, the administration was busy threatening them and resorting to other coercive measures to vacate the area.
According to reports, hundreds of villagers of Kukshi, Badwani, Sondul Patti, Avalda, Pichhodi, Nisarpur, Gaangli, Ekalvaara, Perkhad, Bagud and other affected villages staged protest against "false" charges against Patkar and others.
They have written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan seeking their intervention in the matter, even as  demanding permanent rehabilitation of the oustees and opposing temporary rehabilitation arrangements.

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…

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).

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)".

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).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

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.

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.

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.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”