ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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CMs Meeting on Narmada Dam-What Did Not Happen

prevented from prosecuting army personnel. The central government's inaction thus renders the army accountable to none. In 1982, the PUDR together with the Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) petitioned the Supreme Court for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, The case has moved very little over the last 14 years. The findings of the D M Sen Enquiry Commission point to excessive use of force by the army. These powers are given to the army by the Armed Forces Act. The deadlock over further action IT ail started with the innocuous announcement by the prime minister, H D Deve Gowda on August 2 at a meeting with over 500 tribals-peasants from the Narmada valley at Delhi. The people had come to the capital to protest against an unjust and illegal decision to raise the height of the dam up to 436 feet and re-starting the work on the dam which has remained suspended for more than 18 months, since January 1995. After the meeting the newly appointed home minister, Indrajit Gupta, the people met the prime minister and appraised him of the situation regarding the dam, its cost-benefit and the displacement, submergence. The prime minister was accompanied by the three concerned ministers, Janeshwar Mishra, minister for water resources, B S Ramoowalia, minister for social welfare, and Nishad, the environment minister. He assured them that he was in favourof keeping the displacement to the minimum and had announced that a meeting of the four chief ministers and 15-20 representatives of Narmada Bachao Andolan would be convened for discussing rehabilitation and other issues regarding the dam. The NBA had, then, welcoming the initiative wound off its dharna in Delhi to prepare for the proposed talks.

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