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Medha continues hunger strike for 11th day

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) The hunger strike by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar to protest an increase in the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat continued for the 11th day today.

Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where she was forcibly shifted by police on April 5, described her condition as ''stable''.

Ms Patkar, who continues to refuse food, was being administered a mixture of water and lemon at the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital where she was admitted alongwith her fasting associate Jamsingh Nargave.

''Her vital parameters are well maintained,'' a doctor at the CCU said. He did not, however, confirm NBA reports that Jamsingh was given a little honey in the morning.

At the roadside protest venue near Jantar Mantar, students and academics from Delhi, writers, artists and members of various civil society groups continued assailing the Government for its poor record in rehabilitating people displaced by the SSP.

Mostly of Left and Socialist leanings, they debunked current development processes as anti-poor by linking them to the displacement and disposession of people.

''Development was always supposed to mean growth plus distribution. It was not growth alone,'' Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy, a ''Freethinker'' from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, who too is on hunger strike, said. ''Development is development for the people, not over the bodies of the people,'' he added.

The NBA has challenged the Government to release details of all the dam-displaced people who were rehabilitated. Officials maintain such records and the Government should make it public, the NBA says.

Nearly a dozen people from the Narmada Valley and support groups from Delhi are on hunger strike here.

NBA activists said they had received information of protests in support of their agitation from Madurai, Bangalore, Shimla, Mandi, Palanpur, Kolkata, Ranchi, Patna, Itanagar and Nagpur, apart from the Narmada Valley.

UNI VN ARB BD1639

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