Activist claims NBA founder Medha Patkar ‘detained’ in hospital, government denies

Patkar was on indefinite fast since July 27 seeking proper rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar Project-oustees
Indore: An activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on Tuesday alleged that the Madhya Pradesh
government has “detained” its leader Medha Patkar at a private hospital here, however, the government has rejected the claim.
A senior official said that Patkar (62) was in ICU, but out of danger.
Police on Monday removed Patkar, who was on indefinite fast since July 27 seeking proper rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar Project-oustees, from Chikhalda in Dhar district, and shifted her to Bombay Hospital in Indore, citing her worsening condition.
“The administration has detained Patkar on the pretext of treatment. She wants to meet her supporters but they are not being allowed to see her,” NBA activist Chinmay Mishra said after meeting Patkar on Tuesday.
Patkar didn’t want expensive treatment at the private hospital, Mishra said.
Indore Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Dubey denied that Patkar has been detained. “We are concerned about her health. She is in ICU, a restricted area for visitors. But some people are allowed to visit her,” he said.
The NBA leader was very weak after her 12-day fast, but out of danger now, Dubey said.
After Patkar refused to end her fast, the police removed her and fellow agitators last evening, and took them to hospitals in Indore, Barwani and Dhar districts.
Aam Aadmi Party’s state convener Alok Agarwal said the BJP government can not suppress the agitation by force.
“The government can not suppress the agitation by force. The agitation continues. We will hold a rally on Wednesday at Chikhalda to mark anniversary of the Quit India Movement,” he said.
After Patkar was taken away, over a dozen activists have sat on fast at Chikhalda last evening. More than a thousand people took out a protest march at Nisarpur and submitted a memorandum to sub-divisional magistrate Rishabh Gupta in protest against Patkar’s “arrest” and the alleged use of force by police while taking her away.
Dhar Superintendent of Police Virendra Singh said 30 police personnel were injured in a scuffle between police and protesters on Mondaywhen Patkar and others were removed.
“Protesters beat up the policemen. About 35 persons have been named in a case in this regard,” the SP said.
Thousands of families along the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani, Dhar, Alirajpur and Khargone districts are at risk of getting displaced with the closing of gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam in neighbouring Gujarat and resultant rise in the water level in its catchment area.
The Centre recently gave its nod for closing the gates. The dam is likely to be filled to its capacity by August-end.

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