MP police evict Harda jal satyagrahis
A second Jal Satyagraha (water protest) in Madhya Pradesh's Harda village was cracked down by the police early Wednesday and the agitationists were evicted from the water.
The villagers, especially women in neck deep water, were forced out of the water by women police while media was also prevented from covering the crackdown fully.
The protestors led by Narmada Bachalo Andolan were demanding that the water level in the Indira Sagar dam should be reduced from 262 to 260 metres to prevent submergence of their villages.
The administration first clamped Section 144 prohibitory orders and then cracked down on the protest.
The proterstors were forced inside ambulances waiting at the site.
The crackdown was supervised by the top cop of the district along with Harda collector Sudam Khade and Harda Sub-Divisional Magistrate Manjusha Rai.
Earlier on Monday, the Jal Satyagrah protesters at Khandwa ended their 17-day-long agitation after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minsiter Shivraj Singh Chauhan agreed to land demands of the activists and villagers.
Activists and villagers of Khandwa and Harda villages had immersed themselves in almost neck-deep Narmada water for almost 17 days to press for the reduction of water level of dams that submerged their homes.
"We will give land from the government land bank," said Chauhan in Bhopal agreeing to land for land compensation within 90 days.
The CM said the dam water level would be reduced to 189 metres.
"We will try to resolve the issue," said Chauhan who also announced setting up of a five-member committee on the matter.
The CM, who had earlier sent his senior ministers to the protestors, agreed on the 17th day of the protest to the demands, including land for land demands, and thus apparently resolving the crisis over the Omkareshwar dam water submerging their homes and lands.
The villagers said they wanted land and rehabilitation since their homes and land were submerged.
About 51 people in Khandwa were protesting by remaining in water of Narmada after the opening of the gates of Omkareshwar dam in Madhya Pradesh which flooded their villages.
They were demanding rehabilitation after their homes were submerged due to the dam project.
According to human rights bodies, as per the Supreme Court orders the affected people need to be given not just compensation but land for land and other rehabilitation entitlements as per Rehabilitation Policy and this must be done 6 months prior to submergence.