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Medha Patkar’s health worsens as hunger strike enters 8th day

Despite falling health, Patkar refused medical help.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2017 23:19 IST
Punya Priya Mitra
Punya Priya Mitra
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Narmada Bachao Andolan,Medha Patkar,Sardar Sarovar Dam
Social activist Medha Patkar, founder member of Narmada Bachao Andolan, has been on an indefinite hunger strike since July 27.(HT File Photo)

The health of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar — who is on an indefinite hunger strike demanding rehabilitation of those displaced due to Sardar Sarovar Dam’s construction — has been deteriorating, her aides said.

“Her fast entered the eighth day on Thursday. She vomited twice this morning and vomited twice last night also,” said Rahul Yadav, one of her associates.

Even though her health was worsening, Patkar refused medical help. “Her principled stand is that she will continue her fast till the rehabilitation of those displaced is done properly,” said Himshi Singh, who was alongside Patkar at the site of her protest in MP’s Barwani.

The local administration appeared to be uncertain about how to tackle the situation. A team of doctors was visiting the venue of the hunger strike every six hours, but it wasn’t allowed to examine Patkar.

“At present, we are in a wait-and-watch mode. If we forcibly take her to the hospital, there is bound to be violence, which will be held against the administration,” said a senior administrative official.

In the past, Patkar has sat on a hunger strike four different times seeking proper rehabilitation of the families displaced due to the dam. NBA activists said her first fast was in Dhulia, Maharashtra, in 1994 and it lasted for 10 days. In 1999, her fast in Kewadia, Gujarat, lasted for eight days. Her longest fast was in Delhi in 2006, which went on for 26 days. Her last fast was in Bhopal in 2014, which lasted for three days.

Court slaps fine

A Delhi court on Thursday imposed Rs 10,000 as costs on Patkar for her repeated failure to appear before it in defamation cases filed by her and KVIC chairman VK Saxena against each other. Metropolitan magistrate Vikrant Vaid granted one last opportunity to the activist, while warning that he will dismiss her complaint against Saxena if she fails to appear again.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 23:18 IST