New Delhi: After bowing down to the demands of protesters in Khandwa districts over reducing the height of Omkareshwar Dam, the Madhya Pradesh government has now toughened its stand over the similar demands of other protesters.

READ MORE: Jal Satyagrahis of Khandwa win govt’s nod

Farmers of Harda have been holding Jal Satyagraha for the past 14 day but on early Wednesday morning, the state police resorted to force to remove them from protest site.

To deal with the situation amid ongoing protest, the state administration has imposed Section-144 at the site of protest. Nearly 75 people have reportedly been removed from the protest site so far.

The Khardana District Collector of Khardana, where prohibitory orders were also imposed, Commissioner and senior police officials tried to persuade the protesters to give up their agitation, but when they refused to budge, police cracked down and pulled them out of the waters on Wednesday.

On the occasion, police arrested Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Chittarupa Palit and over 100 protesters.

Some protesters were also taken to hospital whose condition deteriorated after standing in deep waters.

Meanwhile, state Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta said that the administration was forced to take the step as it was concerned about the health of the 'satyagrahis'.

The minister alleged that the Congress had misled the farmers and the administration and the government "cannot remain a silent spectator" to the issue.

On September 10, the state government had agreed to give land for land to the displaced villagers in Khandwa and reduce the dam height to 189 metres, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said.

Both were key demands of protesters, who were standing in neck-deep water since August 25 to agitate for proper rehabilitation and compensation.

The government’s tough stand shows that it is not ready to give in before the protesters who are demanding land for their land and reducing the water level of Indira Sagar Dam in Harda of the state.

Government claims that it has already disbursed the compensation among the farmers who have lost their land due to the Indira Sagar Dam project.

On the other hand the protesters have said that they would continue their protest until their demands are met.

It is to be noted that the protesters are getting support of various public organizations like erstwhile Team Anna, India Against Corruption and Kisan Sangh.

Concerned over this, the government resorted to impose section 144 at the protest site. The protesters said that it is wrong on parts of the government to consider Harda Jal Satyagraha and Khandwa Jal Satyagraha as two different protests. They vowed to stage protest in the form of Jal Satyagraha in every affected village.


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