On Wednesday morning, hundreds of people protesting under the leadership of social activist Medha Patkar have been detained by the Gujarat Police while they were moving from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra via Gujarat.
The protestors have been stopped at the Gujarat Border and are not allowed to cross the Gujarat border.
Notably, this was the 3rd day of the ‘Rally For The Valley’. Leaders of the rally, Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, Soumya Datta, Dr. Sunilam, Jasbir Singh (All India Kisan Sabha, MP), Nita Mahadev (a noted Gandhian, Gujarat) along with hundreds of protestors have been detained at Kavta check post, kavta village of Chhota Udaipur district.
As per reports, the rally was going to visit the Jeevanshala (a school run by Narmada Navnirmaan Abhiyan) of Chimalkhedi, Maharashtra when police officials stopped them from crossing the Gujarat border. The police officials failed to produce any written order. Even the vehicles with Gujarat number plate and local buses were stopped from crossing the border.
Some detained protestors also took to Facebook to share pictures and live updates about the rally. Idrish Mohammed, a law student at Jamia Milia Islamia University took to Facebook and posted a picture of detained school kids from Kerala who joined the rally and were allegedly brutally beaten up by the Gujarat Police.
Speaking to Newsd, Idrish, who is currently detained at the protest said, “The kids who were beaten up by the police were sent to the hospital for medical examination. The medical officer is completely drunk and not in his senses. He SLAPPED the kids and harassed them badly. Another face of Justice System”
“A group of people, who were on their way to Chhota Udepur, were detained at Kavta check-post on Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border,” the police official from Kawant police station said.
“They were detained as per the notification under section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits unlawful assembly or processions in the district,” district collector Vijay Kharadi said.
According to the official press release, the ‘Police officials dragged women protesters during arrest and brutally assaulted little children of Salsabeel Green School, Kerela. One of the police vehicles also ran over the leg of a women protestor and left injured another young activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan. ‘
Activist Patkar, along with environmental activist Prafulla Samantara and hundreds of activists from Narmada Bachao Andolan- an NGO fighting for the rights of tribals affected by dams build across Narmada river–were on their way to Kevadiya in Narmada district, where Narmada Dam is located, to express solidarity with several dam displaced tribals from the area.
Significantly, the tribals have been protesting since the last eleven months against the “poor” facilities provided to them in colonies for the project affected.
More details on this are awaited.