Thousands of tribals took out a protest march against the proposed development around the Statue of Unity in Narmada district of Gujarat Monday.
The statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel near Sardar Sarovar Dam was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last October.
The foot-march started from Kevadiya in the morning and ended at Rajpipla, 21 km away.
Apart from opposing the proposed development around the 182-meter tall statue, the protesters also demanded that the land acquired by the Gujarat government for Sardar Sarovar Dam fifty years ago be returned to them.
"We are not against development. But tribals are being displaced in the name of this so-called development surrounding the statue. Our land is being acquired without our consent," said Shantikar Vasava, a tribal leader.
Praful Vasava, another leader, claimed that around 5,000 tribals and activists took part in the march.
Bharatiya Tribal Party MLA Mahesh Vasava also took part in the protest.
He alleged that tribal leaders and villagers were being harassed by the police for raising voice against "illegal land acquisition".
"The local people did not receive proper compensation for the land they gave for the dam. Now the government is planning to take more land without giving any compensation. We will not let it happen," he said.