Medha Patkar arrested, sent to Dhar jail hours after being discharged from hospital

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INDORE: Amid high drama, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar was on August 9 arrested in Dhar district, six hours after she was discharged from Bombay Hospital here. She was sent to jail as she refused to produce surety bond for her bail.
The police acted when Patkar was on way to Chikalda village, from where she and nine others were picked up by the police on August 7 in a bid to end the 12-day fast they were observing as mark of protest against irregularities in rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees.
She was arrested under Section 151 of CrPC to prevent the commission of cognizable offences. Large crowd of oustees were still camping in Chikalda and administration feared that the situation might snowball out of control.
“The police was apprehensive that her actions might disturb peace in the area coming under submergence, where rehabilitation is over in light of the Supreme Court’s order. Thus, she was arrested by the police under Section 151 of CrPC,” Dhar district collector Shrimant Shukla told TOI.
Patkar was produced before an SDM court, where she refused to produce surety bond for her bail. “The SDM court sent her to jail,” he said, adding there were other cognizable offences registered against Patkar for abduction and wrongful confinement of officials and preventing government servant from discharging her duties. The offences were registered against her and others at Kukshi police station on August 1.
NBA, in a release, reacted, “Madhya Pradesh government has no shame and completely lost any sense of propriety. This is complete travesty of justice and nothing else but every attempt at intimidating and terrorizing the andolan.”
“As their vehicle was moving towards Barwani, Medha ji’s vehicle was intercepted by nearly 35 police vehicles and been now taken over by them. The vehicle’s driver was forced out and now TI drove them all towards Dhar to be produced in front of the SDM,” it said.
NBA also alleged that Patkar was discharged from the hospital where she was illegally detained for around 42 hours, only after habeas corpus application was filed in the high court over the illegal detention by the police.
Earlier during the day, Patkar had announced that notwithstanding the police action, the protest for the plight of SSP oustees will continue. “The fast and protest will continue till complete rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees is carried out,” Patkar told reporters after being reeled out of the hospital on a wheelchair.
She claimed that she was continuing the fast and has not ingested any food while being treated in the hospital.
The NBA leaders have been alleging irregularities in rehabilitation of SSP oustees and staging protest in Barwani, Dhar, Khargone and Alirajpur districts, which will come under submergence once the dam height is raised.

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