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Maheshwar site suffers invasion

There were mass arrests at the Maheshwar dam site on 23 April, following protests by organisations including Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) over work carried out at the site.

In the agreement reached earlier this year the project company S Kumars agreed to halt work at the site while a review of the project was carried out. In March the involved parties had been involved in a series of meetings intended to resolve the standoff. However, disputes broke out again when the project company began maintenance work at the site. The company says it began construction of a safety wall, a usual feature of hydro projects intended to prevent areas that have been excavated filling up during the monsoon. NBA claims that the protection wall, 240m long, 14m wide and 21m high, is in fact a revival of construction work.

The two sides came head-to-head on 22-23 April when NBA claims 4000 people from 61 villages stalled work at the site. While the two sides disagree about the treatment of the protesters around the site, both claim that around 800 protesters entered the project site itself; all of these were arrested. More arrests — 350 according to S Kumars, more than 1000 according to NBA — were made in the surrounding area.