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Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

Protesters in Badwani
By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Medha Patkar at Shahid Stambh
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gathered on the banks of Narmada and sank a Modi effigy in the river as a "symbolic" protest. They halted at the Kasrawad bridge, where several hundred people were already protesting for about three hours.
Joined by supporters from across India, including Gujarat, speakers at the rally, led by NBA leader Medha Patkar, said that an anti-democratic regime has come to power at the Centre, plundering the resources of tribals and farmers. These rulers do not care for the rehabilitation of thousands of oustee families, even as drowning hundreds of villages. Meanwhile, Modi was busy announcing tourism plans at the dam.

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