Bhopal: The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed a plea by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) seeking extension to the July 31 deadline to rehabilitate families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Taking up the petition for hearing, the apex court declined to change its earlier order that mandated vacating the remaining areas by July 31.
Meanwhile, a blame game has already started among different political sections after the police stormed into a fast site in Dhar village and forcefully removed Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar and 11 others from the scene on Monday evening.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his late night tweets reiterated the state government’s commitment towards the displaced population. He claimed that police did not arrest Patkar and her colleagues. “Taking the advice of doctors and considering their deteriorating health, we admitted them to the hospital,” Chouhan added.
Patkar later slammed the police action saying this is how the state government responds to non-violent protests. “Only jugglery of figures, breach of law and use of force,” she alleged.
Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh assembly, Ajay Singh claimed that the public would respond to this barbaric act. AAP state convener Alok Agrawal too flayed the police lathicharge on protesters saying it was a cowardly act.
Blaming the Congress party for the chaos, BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan urged Patkar not to stall the country’s ‘resurrection’. “The state government has offered a compensation package in accordance with the Supreme Court verdict.”
While local political leaders say there are about 40,000 families that are affected by the construction of this dam, the Union government reported to the Rajya Sabha, that there are only about 18,063 affected families. Moreover, out of these 18,000 families, only 6,724 live in the submerged areas.