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Medha Patkar detained with NBA activists

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar was detained along with scores of slogan-shouting NBA activists and farmers as police moved in today to remove them from outside the Water Resources Ministry here where they had been staging a sit-in protest since March 17.

A police officer present at the site said they were detained for violating prohibitory orders in force in the area. Banners etc put up by the protestors at the venue were also removed.

They were taken to the Parliament Street police station in three police buses.

A policewoman was seen pushing a reluctant Ms Patkar -- who has been calling the Government an ''encroacher into homes in the Narmada Valley'' -- into the bus.

The police action comes a day after Ms Patkar and five other NBA activists met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his urgent intervention for protection of 35,000 families they say are threatened with displacement owing to an 11 metre increase in the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat.

Dr Singh was said to have assured the delegation that he would respond to their concerns in two days after consulting the concerned officials and the ministers for Water Resources and Social Justice.

The NBA says the dam height is being raised even as those already displaced by the project are yet to be fully rehabilitated and resettled.

It has been challenging the project as financially unviable, anti-people and corruption-ridden.

Nearly 350 farmers and NBA activists were on dharna outside the Water Resources Ministry challenging the decision of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the dam height from 110.64 to 122 metres.

They had begun a relay hunger strike at the venue two days ago.

UNI VN MSJ KN1551

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