BHOPAL: BHOPAL: Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar who has been on an indefinite fast since July 27 in support of the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar Project was removed to hospital by the government of Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
Senior officials said Patkar and six other activists fasting on the banks of the Narmada at Chikilda village in Dhar district were shifted under heavy security as their condition was fast deteriorating.
Although police higher-ups instructed the district police in Dhar not to use force against the agitators, there was a heavy buildup of security personnel from the morning.
A security blanket was thrown over the area in Dhar and adjoining districts drawing personnel from the Special Armed Force (SAF) and National Disaster Relief Force. Ambulances were positioned near the venue a few hours ahead of the operation.
“Medical check-ups by doctors in the last three days revealed that the health parameters of the activists were deteriorating fast with ketone levels too high. We repeatedly requested Medha Patkar to end the fast but she and the other activists were not willing. We were left with no option,” said additional director-general of police (Indore) Ajay Sharma.Sharma, however, denied that Medha Patkar was arrested and booked for breach of peace.
“It’s true that there was a scuffle between the policemen and the activists near the venue but no lathi charge took place,” he said.
Over the last two days, chief minister Shivraj Chouhan and Union minister Uma Bharti tried to persuade Patkar to end the fast but the Narmada Bachao Andolan leader insisted that the demands of dam-displaced families for proper rehabilitation be granted.
NBA activists termed the disruption of the fast as a murder of democracy.The Sardar Sarovar dam is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat on August 12.
The water level in the reservoir reached 121.90 m on Monday, nearing the danger mark of 123 m. The dam is likely to be filled to capacity by August-end.