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FIR against Medha Patkar, others: move to stifle and subdue dissenting voices

Squash the FIR registered against Narmada Bachao Andolan based on false allegations", Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan has demanded, even as condemning the ongoing attempts across the country to stifle peoples' movements and activists standing up for democratic rights and constitutional values:

For over 37 years, Narmada Bachao Andolan has been continuously waging struggles for the thousands of Adivasis and farmers displaced by Sardar Sarovar Dam Project, along with other projects in the Narmada River valley, causing widespread displacement of people and ecological destruction. Narmada Bachao Andolan has been continuously leading non-violent struggles for the democractic and constitutional rights of farmers and workers. We have known the tireless struggle of the activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan and we salute their hard work over the years. We strongly oppose the FIR registered against the 11 activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan, which is grounded on wholly false allegations, and further demand that the FIR registered against them be immediately squashed.
We also reject the baseless accusations made against Medha Patkar, Parveen Rumi Jahangir, Parveen Rumi Jahangir, Vijaya Chouhan, Kailash Awasya, Mohan Patidar, Ashish Mandloi, Kewal Singh Vasave, Sanjay Joshi, Shyam Patil, Sunit SR, Noorji Padvi and Keshav Vasave of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. The fact that this is not the first time Barwani Police and Adminsitration has made similar allegations and registered false cases on Adivasi activists is shameful and reflects attempts to harass activists standing up for democratic rights.
Today, as farmers continue to deal with a worsening agrarian crisis and the situation of workers continues to deteriorate from bad to worse. The youth of the country are being systemically denied of both, education and opportunities of employment. Privatisation has been weaponized to further weaken the already poor access to education and employment for the majority youth of Adivasi, Dalit and other marginalized youth. Adivasis who have been staunchly resisting attempts by the government to hand over their traditional resources of Jal-Jangal-Zameen are continuously facing evictions from their own lands. An ever-growing number of people are being deprived of their constitutional rights, every day. With this latest accusation, it is clear that peoples' movements and activists who have been consistently raising these issues are being targeted as part of a larger assault on democratic forces.
It is clear that governments across the country are trying to stifle and subdue dissenting voices who are continuously resisting the erosion of democratic rights and are leading constitutional struggles for the same. Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, stands in complete solidarity with Narmada Bachao Andolan, its activists and all democratic forces who are leading struggles to ensure the right towards a secure and dignified life for all citizens of the country.
*Signed by Harsing Jamre, Nasri Bai Ningwal, Madhuri



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