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Maharashtra villagers boycott polls to protest flooding 'as a result of' Narmada dam

By Our Representative 
The adivasis from the Sardar Sarovar affected village, Manibeli , the first in Maharashtra from the Narmada dam site, boycotted the voting in the assembly elections on October 21 to protest against waters gushing into the village, allegedly because the dam was filled up to the brink.
Manibeli, interestingly was one of the villages which saw a major protest against the dam in early 1990s – called “death by drowning” -- even as flood waters flooded their homes.
The villagers around Manibeli are known to have refused to accept the government’s offers of resettlement, following which Manibeli reportedly witnessed multiple incidents of mass arrests, lathi charges, harassment and intimidation of local residents.
An anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan release said, "The villagers have expressed their disgust and anger against the electoral politics and the government that has neglected them by not even completing the rehabilitation process before filling of the reservoir to the highest level of 138.68 metres.”
It claimed, “Some of the families in Manibeli, who have accepted resettlement in Gujarat as per the rights granted by the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal and the state’s rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) policy, are yet to get their allotted land and house plot in usable condition.”

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