Patkar, 17 others get bail

A local court in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday granted bail to social activist Medha Patkar and 17 of her supporters who were arrested earlier for protesting against the upcoming Pench river project in the district.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate D R Gurjarkar ordered their release from the local jail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1,000 each.

Patkar and other agitators were arrested on November 4 under Sections 151 (unlawful assembly) and 188 (defiance of government order) of the IPC from the residence of a local advocate after they arrived here to protest against the project which is coming up in Chhindwara and Seoni districts. The project, under construction, is expected to provide water for irrigation purpose and an upcoming power plant. It has displaced around 300 farmers from 32 villages, while 116 farmers from two villages have sought additional compensation for their submerged lands.

Patkar said she would stay put in the district for sometime and continue raising the issue of affected farmers belonging to the state and other parts of the country from here.

The jail authorities said formalities are being completed to release her. Earlier, Patkar’s supporters gathered outside the court premises demanding her immediate release.

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