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SC issues notices to NBA,UPA,Gujarat and MP

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 7: The Supreme Court today issued notices to Narmada Bachao Andolan through Medha Patkar, her close associate Rahul Bannerjee, Central government, states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on a petition seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged ''anti- national activities being carried out by NBA activists who are being financed by foreign organisations and companies.''

The petitioner National Council for Civil Liberties through its president V K Saxena has alleged that the NBA has been carrying out well planned armed attacks on government officials and laying landmines to ambush police parties.

The petitioner has also accused the NBA of imparting firearms training to tribals and inciting people against the government.

The petitioner has also alleged that NBA activists especially Rahul Bannerjee, have been causing large scale destruction of public property and preventing government officials from discharging their duties.The petitioner levelled a slew of allegations against the NBA ranging from setting up of parallel courts and passing sentences like death penalty,hatching criminal conspiracies to terrorise government officials and public at large to publishing and distributing anti government material.

Rahul Bannerjee is facing charges of sedition in Devas, Madhya Pradesh, under Section 121(A) of the Indian Penal Code.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Mr Justice C K Thakker issued notices after hearing the petitioner's counsel Amar Dave who contended that NBA has been stalling the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam project at the behest of foreign agencies.

He also alleged that no action has been taken on an FIR registered way back in the year 2000 despite the Madhya Pradesh vigilace department report against the NBA.

The Court however neither issued notices to Medha Patkar personally nor to the CBI.

The Court in its order said that CBI would come into picture only if this Court decides to order a CBI inquiry.

Counsel for the petitioner however conceded that at present there was a lack of sufficient prima facie evidence against the NBA leader medha patkar.

The NBA agitation against Sardar Sarovar Dam started way back in 1985 and since then they have been creating hurdles in the construction of the dam on the pretext of rehabilitating the oustees before starting the construction of the dam.

Earlier the Supreme Court had refused to stay the construction work for raising the height of the dam to 121.92 metres.

The NBA petition seeking stay on the construction of the dam is coming up for hearing on july 17.

According to the petitioner, Medha Patkar had given a false testimony at Washington before the Sub -Committe of Natural Resources and Environment of the US House of Representatives against the ongoing Sardar Sarovar project in the Narmada Valley. She described the Sardar Sarovar Dam as a human tragedy and economic disaster leading to environmental degradation.

She called the project a planned disaster which violated human rights and fundamental freedom.

Her statement led to the withdrawal of World Bank aid to the project. Her campaign against the project also led to withdrawal of 200 million dollar Japanese aid to the project.

United States based company Ogden Corporation also withdrew from Maheshwar Hydel power project due to massive protest staged by NBA activists during the then US President Bill Clinton's visit to India on March 27, 2000.

State of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have been calling the Sardar Sarovar project a measure of progress which would provide drinking water to 2000 additional villages in drought hit areas of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and would also lead to better irrigation facilities.

UNI

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