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Amnesty International, Writers, NGOs, demand Medha's release

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) Human rights group Amnesty International today joined the chorus of protests against shoddy rehabilitation of project-affected people in the Narmada Valley and sought the immediate release of Narmada Bachao Andolan leaders Medha Patkar and Jamsingh Nargave.

In a statement, the London-based organisation also condemned the use of force by police against the NBA leaders protesting the decision of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar dam without full rehabilitation of the project-affected people.

The NBA continued to receive letters of support from various civil society groups as well.

A host of writers including Amit Choudhari, William Darymple, Tabish Khair, Boyd Tonkin and Manju Kapur -- who are attending a meeting here -- expressed concern over Ms Patkar's condition and demanded immediate action from the Government on her demands.

Also, as many as 148 organisations and people issued a signed statement condemning the police action against the NBA leaders and supporting their demand for rehabilitation of the project-affected.

In other statements, the All India Catholic Union and the Forum of Religions For Justice and Peace urged the Government to ''address the basic human crisis'' for which Ms Patkar and her associates had started the peaceful protest.

According to the NBA, Ms Patkar and Mr Nargave continued their hunger strike at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where they were forcibly shifted on April 5 last.

The NBA condemned that the two had been kept in isolation at the hospital and demanded that anyone wanting to meet them be allowed to do so.


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