NGO seeks probe in "fake" Jal Satyagraha; NBA rubbishes it



Indore: Terming the recent Jal Satyagraha in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh as "fake", an NGO Sunday demanded a probe in it.

"It is quiet reprehensible to learn that the Narmada Bachao Andolan has taken the whole media fraternity of the country for a ride through its faked Jal Satyagraha in Khandwa," Poorvottar Sanskriti Sansthan (PSS) state president Thakur Jagdish Singh alleged in a statement here.

"This was apparently done to ride on sympathy wave and make the state government succumb to its pressure tactics, which it has been doing since long," Singh further alleged.

Quoting some media reports, he said an inspection of the Jal Satyagraha site by a section of media suggested that the protesters deliberately chose a "canal-like" place where water-level was barely 2-3 feet deep.

The protest photographs were "doctored" to show as if the villagers were standing in neck deep water, he alleged.

He also said the villagers were out of the waters and it was only on being informed about arrival of media that they would immediately enter the canal.

He, however, said while the just demands of dam affected oustees should be taken care of, emotional blackmailing of media and the countrymen must be stopped.

The PSS urged the MP government and state Human Rights Commission to probe the "fake" NBA sponsored Jal Satyagraha.

When contacted, NBA activist Alok Agarwal said from Khandwa that, "the allegations are completely false. Because 51 people, who sat in water continuously for 17 days, had developed blisters and skin diseases. It is a motivated move by an unknown NGO to malign the movement that achieved a historic success."

"People were continuously sitting in neck deep waters. It was a reservoir of Omkareshwar that dried out when water receded recently," Agarwal said adding that, "There is no need of any probe as demanded by an organisation which has no standing. It is a motivated move to make unwarranted blame on us, we condemned it."

Villagers in Harda and Khandwa had recently undertaken a Jal Satyagraha by standing in waters to demand land as compensation and reduction in height of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dams in the state.

PTI