A large number of people who were staging ‘Jalsatyagraha’ against the Indira Sagar Project (ISP) in the two Madhya Pradesh districts of Khandwa and Harda were on Sunday picked up after prohibitory orders under Section 144 were enforced there, police sources said.

A report from Harda quoting District Collector Rajnish Shrivastava said that nearly 80 people were taken into custody for staging ‘Jalsatyagarha’ (protest by sitting in water) despite the prohibitory orders.

The protest under the aegis of the Narmada Bachao Andolan was being simultaneously held at Mel Pipalia, Badkhalia and Unwa villages, among other places.

The stir, demanding adequate compensation, was being held over the non-fulfilment of promises made to them following a similar protest last year.

Earlier, the collector, along with other officials, tried to pacify the agitators and urged them to give up the protest saying that the administration would take all possible steps to address their grievances.

However, as they refused to relent, police picked them up from the spot where they were staging their ‘Jalsatyagraha’.

NBA leader Alok Agrawal, condemning the police action to foil their protest, claimed nearly 300 protesters had been picked up.

NBA demanded that as per Supreme Court and High Court directives, water level of the ISP project should not cross the 260m mark.

It also pointed out that a minimum of five acres of land should be given as compensation for land submerged while Rs 2.5 lakh should be given to labourers.


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