The 37 day historic fast ends with a call for further struggle

The 37 day historic fast ends with a call for further struggle

Andolan will monitor the rehabilitation process closely

The rights of all the displaced people will be ensured on the ground and in the court of law

The displaced people will return to Bhopal on September 30th

Tata Institute will start a legal aid and counseling centre

A panel of eminent citizens will watch over the whole rehabilitation process

The historic struggle of the displaced people of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar projects and the indefinite fast of senior Narmada Bachao Andolan activists Ms Chittaroopa Palit and Shri Bhagwan Mukati was called off today with a call to continue with the struggle on the ground. The Andolan has declared that it will take up all the issues of rehabilitation and rights of the displaced people on the ground and in the court of law till September 30th. On September 30th 2007, tens of thousands the affected people will gather in Bhopal again.

Historic struggle:

It is to be noted here that about 15000 affected people of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar projects gathered took out a massive rally in Khandwa on June 4th and started their indefinite dharna. The indefinite hunger strike was started on June 6th and was called off today, on its 37th day, with a call to take ahead the struggle on the ground and in the courts.

On the one hand this historic struggle has brought the strong determination and resolve of the affected people to the centre of the entire world's attention, on the other it has also revealed the insensitivity and indifference of the government. By not implementing rules and laws from the Land Acquisition Act to Honorable High Court's orders, it has been proven that there is no rule of law in the state of Madhya Pradesh. On one hand the government offers empty promises of "sensitively looking into" matters on the issue of most of the demands raised by the displaced people, on the other hand the reality of the village level camps will be seen on the ground in the time to come.

Narmada Bachao Andolan declares that it will closely watch this entire process in minute detail and ensure that all the rights of the displaced people are achieved either through struggle in the valley or through the courts.

Struggle goes on:

The Andolan declares that the struggle will go on till each and every right of each displaced person is achieved. The affected people will unfurl flags of struggle in each village, take out prabhat pheris and keep alight the lamp of the movement till this is achieved. They will come back to Bhopal in tens of thousands on September 30th.

Eminent Citizens to Watch over the Rehabilitation Process:

Many eminent citizens of the country took a special initiative today and declared that they watch over the entire process of rehabilitation of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dams and ensure that each displaced person gets his or her full rights. This People's Monitoring Committee will comprise of former Judge of Mumbai High Court Justice Suresh, former member of Planning Commission Shri LC Jain, ex-Chair person National Commission of Women Ms Mohini Giri, senior journalist Shri Prabhash Joshi and Director of Centre for Science and Environment Ms Sunita Narain.

Tata Institute to start Legal Aid and Counseling Centre in Khandwa:

The Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Shri S. Parasuraman has written a letter to the Andolan saying that the Tata Institute will take an initiative to involve other legal and social organisations and law colleges and universities to start a Legal Aid and Counseling Centre in Khandwa. This centre will function to ensure that every displaced person receives his/her full compensation and other R&R benefits.

(Alok Agrawal)