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Jal satygrah picks up steam

Sanjay Pandey. April 22, 2013, DHNS: 1:35 IST
The ongoing ‘jal satyagrah’ for a bridge over Ghaghra river in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district, about 275 kilometers from here, has become a symbol of communal harmony with members of almost every community taking part in the agitation, that entered its eighth day on Monday.

Around a dozen people, including men and women, have been demanding construction of the bridge at Kamhariya Ghat in the district by standing in knee-deep water for the past eight days, braving the blazing sun and other odds.

Undeterred spirit

Even the rains that lashed the district on Sunday could not deter the agitators.
All attempts by the district authorities to persuade the agitators to call off their ‘jal satyagrah’ have not yielded any positive results.

A large number of students from the local high school also joined the ‘satyagrah’ on Sunday and stood in the water for several hours to show their solidarity for the cause.

Communal harmony

The agitation has turned out to be a symbol of communal harmony with members of almost every community joining the stir.

Two muslim women, who have been at the forefront of the agitation for the bridge, have been standing in the water since the ‘satyagrah’ was launched.

“The bridge is an issue for all of us. We have been suffering owing to absence of the bridge for a long time. The politicians and public representatives only gave assurances during the elections and forgot about it after the polls. We are not going to budge till our demand is met”, says S P Singh, who has been spearheading the agitation.

Swollen feet

The effect of continuously standing in the water is now visible on the health of the agitators. Their feet have swollen and some of them were now finding it difficult to stand, the eye witnesses said.

A team of doctors from the local primary health centre also examined the agitators on Sunday and advised them to call off their agitation but they did not relent.
They have been insisting of speaking to the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav before deciding on their next course of action.

Leaders of the opposition parties have also lent support to the demand in a bid to gain political mileage.

District officials said that they were making efforts to persuade the agitators to call off their agitation.

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