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SSP Update: Second day of Satyagraha

Today is the second day of the land occupation of Government seed farm (near Badwani, M.P.). Hundreds of adivasis, farmers, fisherfolk families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam participate in this ‘satyagraha’ with increased vigour and commitment. The adivasis from Jhabua district (M.P.) who have lost land to the reservoir are here to assert their rights.

Since neither Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) nor the administration gave a final approval to allocation of land, which people did identify and demanded to be purchased by the Government, the adivasis decided to take the responsibility and task of distributing land up to themselves. Adivasis of Kakrana, Jhandana, Anjanwada, Bhitada, Kharya Bhadal are busy cultivating the new land occupied, even when the Collector, Badwani threatened of legal action. Hundreds of Nimad farmers, with best of agriculture and horticulture, are raising their voices against the lost motor pumps and any raising of the dam height.

Movement of the slum displaced from Mumbai, Nandurbar - Maharashtra, Indore (M.P.) sent their representatives to extend their support.

It's shocking that the Collector, Badwani only thinks of our actions as illegal and not of the legal, Constitutional and human rights violations involved, in drowning our land and houses, destroying our social, cultural heritage and encroaching upon our livelihoods, destitutionalizing us. We are aware of our right to life, to livelihood, to land for the same.

We can't remain silent and peaceful anymore, when more than 2 lakh people are still residing in the submergence area of Sardar Sarovar Dam alone. When the state is callous and ready to drown us, we can't merely protest through this Satyagraha but also acquire what is our due.

The Collector, Badwani talked to the Press indicating the Government's duty to apply law and evict us to vacate their land. He only sent the SDM and Tehsildar who were openly questioned by the people yesterday. Today, they all seem to be getting ready to the use of force against us. Eviction is nothing new, but here that would mean "government has no resolution in mind, it has no land even to offer, leave aside allot!"

Ashish Mandloi Kailash Awasya Khajan Bhai Medha Patkar