Anti-dam activists forced to wind up agitation

June 22nd, 2008 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS  

Dehradun, June 21 (IANS) Noted environmentalist G.D. Agarwal and other activists, on a hunger strike since June 13 protesting construction of dams on the river Ganga, had to wind up their agitation Saturday evening after a crowd of nearly 400 people circled them and shouted slogans against them. The protestors were reportedly supported by former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Khoshiari.

“The demonstrators were virtually gheraoed (circled) by the crowd who claimed to be locals and said stoppage of the dams would harm their interests, and of the people of the hill state,” Vyomesh Chitranvansh, a spokesperson for the activists on hunger strike, told IANS over phone.

The incident followed a statement by the former chief minister that the suspension of work on two dams, as announced by the Uttarakhand government Thursday evening in the wake of Agarwal’s protest, was not in the interest of the people of the state.

Agarwal, along with several scientists, environmentalists and activists, began his hunger strike, at Manikanika Ghat in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, against the government’s plans to construct six dams on a 100-km stretch between Gangotri, the source of the river, and Uttarkashi town.

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