Social activist Medha Patkar, who has demanded better rehabilitation of villagers displaced by the Sardar Sarovar dam project, was detained on Wednesday, hours after being discharged from a private hospital in Indore.
According to the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Patkar was on her way to Barwani from Indore with nine others when police stopped them midway and took them into custody over charges of "violence" that happened during the eviction of Patkar from the protest site in Dhar on Monday where she had been on a hunger strike since July 27.
"Medha ji was going to Barwani when her vehicle was intercepted by nearly 35 police vehicles. Now, she will be produced before the Sub Divisional Magistrate. Police are pressing charges of violence against her, which actually police unleashed, in which 42 people got injured," Madhuresh Kumar of NBA said.
Kumar added that Patkar could be taken to the Dhar jail after being produced before the SDM. No senior police official could be reached for a comment.
Kumar questioned the police action of detaining Patkar soon after being discharged from the Bombay hospital in Indore on Wednesday.
She was taken to the hospital after being evicted from the protest site in Dhar on Monday.
NBA called the police action "complete travesty of justice and an attempt to intimidating and terrorising the ongoing agitation".
"Since no one was allowed to meet her, we filed a habeas corpus writ petition in the high court. However, the government discharged her today before our case was heard. She was going to Barwani to decide next course of agitation," Kumar said.
On Monday, about 2,000 police personnel reportedly marched to the protest site and evicted Patkar. Later, she was taken to the Bombay hospital in Indore. Four others who were on fast were detained and hospitalised in Dhar.
According to the NBA, ten more people have joined those on fast in Chikhalda to continue their ongoing agitation.
NBA has been demanding proper rehabilitation of about 40,000 families, whose homes are expected to be submerged this monsoon as the government has shut all gates of the dam few weeks ago.
The evictee families have refused to leave their existing homes saying the new homes provided by the government are on the uneven land and lack basic facilities.