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Patkar rejects PM's appeal to end hunger strike
April 04, 2006 14:26 IST
Last Updated: April 04, 2006 20:28 IST
Turning down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's request to her to end her indefinite hunger strike, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar on Tuesday said her agitation would continue till the government makes public its report on the rehabilitation of the families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project.
Assuring "necessary action", Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz Tuesday asked social activist Medha Patkar, who is on an indefinite hunger strike protesting against raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam, to call off the strike but she rejected the appeal.
However, Patkar said she expected some concrete action from the Centre on the Narmada Bachao Andolan's demand for rehabilitation of the project-affected people and reversal of the decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Soz said he would discuss the matter with all the concerned parties again and come back with a "fresh proposal".
Deputed by the prime minister, Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, who met Patkar twice on Tuesday at the Jantar Mantar, the spot where she has been fasting, and conveyed Singh's request to call off her seven-day long strike.
There was concern among the activists around her about health and a doctor from a nearby hospital was at hand in case of any emergency. "The prime minister has reaffirmed the government's commitment that the rehabilitation of project affected families of the Sardar Sarovar Dam is done fully and satisfactorily in consonance with the Supreme Court order," Soz told her.
The minister said he and his ministerial colleagues Meira Kumar and Prithviraj Chavan would visit the affected families in the project-affected areas and the relief and rehabilitation sites. He said they will particularly take note of the areas where rehabilitation has not been done as mentioned in the memorandum given by Patkar.
Patkar accepted a glass of salt water from Soz, but said her fast would continue. Patkar, in a statement, said, "The team visiting the affected areas in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat must make its report public immediately, latest by April 9. Till then, I and my colleagues shall continue our fast."