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Medha Patkar removed by police from protest site



Narmada Bachao Andolan

Dhar (Madhya Pradesh), Aug 7 : Social activist Medha Patkar was on Monday forcibly removed by Madhya Pradesh Police from the site, where she was on the 12 day of her indefinite fast to protest against closing of the gates of the Sardar Sarovar dam in neighbouring Gujarat.

According to the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), about 2,000 police personnel “marched” to the protest site and “evicted Patkar” while other 11 people, who were on fast too, were left untouched.

Police baton-charged and beat up protesters, who opposed the police action, alleged NBA.

“Police broke the stage, chairs, pendals before taking Patkar into their custody. It is shameful that they never chose to hold dialogue with us in last 12 days but used force to stop our non- violent protest. Many have suffered physical injury,” said Madhuresh Kumar of NBA.

NBA condemned the police action and said the agitation and fast would continue.

Patkar was on the indefinite fast in Chidhalda village in Dhar district seeking proper rehabilitation as project affected have said the government has given them homes without proper facilities, where they cannot be rehabilitated.

Several activists have already expressed their anguish over the forceful eviction of project-affected in the wake of closing of gates of the dam.

According to the locals, the government has deputed about 8,000-10,000 policemen in the area.


Cabinet nod to ST status to two communities in Karnataka

The Karnataka government had recommended the two’s inclusion as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ appearing at SI. No. 38 in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state.



Narendra Modi in International Solar Alliance

New Delhi, March 21 : The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the inclusion of the communities ‘Parivara’ and ‘Talawara’ in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Karnataka.

“This will fulfil the long term demand of ‘Parivara’ and Talawara’ communities for granting Scheduled Tribes status in Karnataka,” said an official statement, adding that members of these communities will now be eligible to get the ST certificate from the state and be eligible for all benefits meant for the ST in the state.

The Karnataka government had recommended the two’s inclusion as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ appearing at SI. No. 38 in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state.

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Maharashtra peace activist ‘escapes’ parcel bomb attack

The Maharashtra Police, National Investigation Agency and the state Anti Terrorist Squad have launched investigations into the ‘parcel bomb’ blast.



anjay Nahar

Pune, March 21 : Alarm bells were set off when a parcel intended for well-known Pune-based peace activist Sanjay Nahar exploded late on Tuesday at a courier delivery centre in adjoining Ahmednagar district, officials said here on Wednesday.

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. on Tuesday when a staffer was handling the courier package received at the Maruti Courier Co in Maliwada area of Ahmednagar.

The packet suddenly exploded with a deafening sound which was audible in neighbouring buildings and at least two staffers who were sorting it were injured in the blast.

Top police officials rushed to site to investigate and on Wednesday it transpired that the explosive parcel was addressed to Nahar, who runs the NGO, ‘Sarhad’ which works among Kashmiri children and students.

The Maharashtra Police, National Investigation Agency and the state Anti Terrorist Squad have launched investigations into the ‘parcel bomb’ blast.

Besides, the Military Intelligence of Indian Army’s Southern Command and concerned officials in both Pune and Amednagar districts where the army has a significant presence are also looking into the matter.

“We are investigating The police is trying to get details of the sender of this parcel and the motives,” a top police official said, of the incident, which happened around 120 kms away from Nahar’s Pune office.

A team of officials called on Nahar and offered him security, especially since he works with youth from Kashmir, the North-Eastern states, other border regions and even helping to develop people-to-people contact with Pakistan since he launched ‘Sarhad’ in 1995.

However, he has declined the police offer, an aide said.

“The officials termed the matter as serious. However, I have absolutely no idea who could have sent this parcel or their motives,” Nahar said in brief reactions to the media before going for a meeting with the police this evening.

According to preliminary investigations, the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device with a circuit to trigger the explosive chemicals in it.

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Green cover shrinking in Taj city, say activists



Taj mahal-wefornews

Agra, March 21: Green activists in Agra on Wednesday warned of a steadily diminishing green cover in the Taj city, with one expert blaming monkeys for it.

The Supreme Court has been repeatedly asking authorities since 1996 to intensify efforts to develop a green belt to contain air pollution in Agra, India’s most popular tourist destination.

The International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21 to increase awareness level and inculcate values relating to forests.

At a round table held on Wednesday here, environmentalists expressed concern over the latest trend of developing concrete jungles where once green forests existed.

“From Vrindavan to Agra, there were 12 big forests in the Braj area. But now only their names remain. The green patches have turned brown, yellow and grey,” said Shravan Kumar Singh of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.

Murari Lal Goswami, a retired Uttar Pradesh Forest Department official, said the builders and corrupt government officials had colluded to gobble up huge chunks of forest land.

“Illegal felling of trees continues along the Yamuna,” he said.

Surendra Sharma of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association said the continuous construction of roads, expressways, flyovers and other projects had taken a heavy toll on green cover, specially trees.

Despite the Supreme Court direction on developing a green belt around Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, no work had been done, he alleged.

One expert, K.P. Singh, noted that instead of increasing the forest cover area, the percentage had fallen to around 7 per cent against the national standard of 33 per cent.

The loss of green cover had affected the rainfall pattern, reducing the number of rainy days in Agra.

Green activist Devashish Bhattacharya said: “Agra was being ruined by so-called development. The alarming fall in the green cover due to negligence and corrupt ways of the bureaucracy will prove suicidal.”

Himani Dixit, en eminent horticulturist promoting tree plantation in Agra, said monkeys too were to blame.

“The monkeys are a big nuisance. We keep planting saplings all over but find the next day that the monkeys have uprooted them all. To promote green culture in the city, we will need to contain the monkey population.”


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