MP: Medha Patkar arrested during protest against Pench project

Social activist Medha Patkar and 16 of her supporters were arrested as they arrived here to protest against the upcoming Pench River Project.

Patkar and her supporters were arrested late last night under sections 151 (unlawful assembly) and 188 (defiance of government order) of the Indian Penal Code, Chhindwara Collector Mahesh Chandra Choudhary told reporters today. They were lodged in Chhindwara jail, he said.

Superintendent of Police Vineet Jain, who led the police team, "misbehaved" with the media persons when they asked him under which section Patkar was arrested, some reports here said.

The under-construction Pench River Project has affected 300 farmers in 32 villages. As many as 116 of them belong to two villages, and are seeking additional compensation for their submerged lands.

Collector Choudhary said demand for enhanced compensation had been forwarded to the state government.

The project is expected to irrigate Seoni and Chhindwara districts, besides providing water for a power plant.

Patkar's lawyers here said she had refused to eat anything since she was arrested.

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