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PM's stand on Narmada dam issue unfortunate: PUCL

By Staff
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Vadodara, Apr 16 (UNI) The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) today criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for allegedly ''taking a stand against the interests of the poor people displaced due to the increase in the Narmada dam height''.

Reacting to the Prime Minister's assurance that the ongoing construction work of the dam would continue, the PUCL here said, ''It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister has not taken a stand in favour of the affected people, who are yet to be rehabilitated.'' In a statement, the PUCL also appealed to NBA leader Medha Patkar and other activists, including Bhagwati Patgidam and Jamsingh Nargave, to end their fast so that the issues could be taken up on the table on the basis of the evidence of the extent of rehabilitation.

Making a fervent appeal for a peaceful solution to the Narmada Dam controversy, the signatories to the statement, who included Kirit Bhatt, Rohit Prajapati and Kantibhai Mistry, alleged that in the absence of due priority to rehabilitation of the affected people by the states concerned, this issue had turned into a futile political conflict. ''There is a need to have a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for all people displaced by any development project,'' they demanded.

The PUCL has also strongly condemned the vandalising of the NBA office here yesterday by a mob. The organisation had filed written complaints to Police Commissioner Deepak Swaroop and collector Rajeev Topno demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. But, no one was arrested in connection with the incident so far.

UNI SS MAZ ARB KP2307

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