Attempts to Defame NBA Continues

Narmada Bachao Andolan
62, Gandhi Marg, Badwani, M.P. – 451551 , Ph: 07290-222464

Press Release- 2nd April 2007

• Enquiry into NBA's funds is not ordered but only requested by the opponents of NBA: Deliberate news is defamatory,
• Enquiry is already conducted and we are not afraid, if taken up again
• Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh Governments are prosecuting us, using the fake case by a corporate man, to suppress the Movement

It is no news that Gujarat's corporates or the Government itself is again and again requesting the Supreme Court to order an enquiry. However it is all in a petition filed by one Mr V K Saxena, who is a corporate man, now supported by the politicians in the governments in his campaign and an accused in the case of physical assault on Medha Patkar in Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, during a peace meeting related to communal violence riots in Gujarat.

The affidavits filed by MP & Gujarat refers to number of police cases against NBA and the deliberate and vulgar campaign by VK Saxena, NCCL has also been referring to the same repeatedly while the fact is that almost all the case s have already been disposed off by the lower courts in favour of NBA. It is also known to the world that those who challenge the State on its so called development plans and human rights violations are bound to and do face such cases all over the country.
The news has come on the eve of the baseless case of "sedition" against NBA coming up in the Supreme Court on April 2nd and hence the intentions are quite clear. We warn the media against any support such a politically motivated campaign which amounts to defamation.

We are not and have never been afraid of any enquiry and we have already faced it in the past. However, the false and absurd charges in the Petition are undemocratic and unconstitutional and non-maintainable, as Adv. Indira Jaisingh, pleading for NBA, has already argued before the Supreme Court. The SC has also refused to issue notice to Medha Patkar while the campaigners continue to target her.

The case filed by Mr V K Saxena, in the name of National Council of Civil Liberties, tried to accuse NBA and Medha Patkar of 'sedition', claiming any and every opposition to a development project as planned by the State as sedition! This can lead to booking many political parties too who question and oppose destructive projects some where or other including SEZ at present.

One by one, all false charges of NBA receiving foreign funds are clearly denied too. We have not even accepted the money associated with its two awards – Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize) and Goldman Environmental Prize. The Supreme Court has already refused to issue any notice to Medha Patkar. The allegation that Rahul Banerjee who has never been a part of NBA, has received funds from foundations and pilfered to NBA is also utterly false and is denied by NBA as well as Rahul Banerjee, a party to the petition through affidavits and supporting documents.

Hence the news of Gujarat government filing an affidavit supporting Saxena's prayer is no great news but is deliberately made up to defame Medha Patkar and NBA. We don't mind any enquiry but the state governments themselves, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, are shamefully grabbing unlimited foreign funds and have no moral right to question a genuine people's movement that has stayed away from such attraction and lures. Their more news and affidavits to petitions are merely suppressive tactics, to influence our supporters and the court itself, nothing else.

Yogini Khanolkar Ashish Mandloi Noorji Padvi