Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi broke his fast this afternoon after nine days at the request of the Gandhian leader,but said that his campaign against big dams would continue.
Gogoi,who has been on an indefinite fast since May 19,took a glass of juice from another Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal at around 3.30 pm.
“I also request others who have been fasting with me to break their fast and get ready for renewed struggle,” a visibly weak looking Gogoi said after breaking his fast at the Lakhidar Bora Khetra,where hundreds of members of his Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has been campaiging for past few days.
Kejriwal,who flew down from New Delhi this morning,first met Gogoi at the Guwahati Medical College and later both of them went to the campaign site.
The police had last week forcible removed Gogoi from the site and admitted him to the GMC after deterioration of his health.
Kejriwal said Gogoi broke his fast after a telephonic conversation with Anna Hazare.
“Anna told Akhil not to confine himself to anti-dam movement in Assam and instead take over leadership of the civil society’s fight across the country. He has suggested that Akhil undertakes a nation-wide tour and bring together all like-minded groups,” Kejriwal said.
“Anna also told Akhil that he will fast together with him the next time,” he said.
Kejriwal accused the Assam government of adopting force against anti-dam activists and said the police action against Gogoi and his supporters in the middle of night was similar to the Delhi police’s against Baba Ramdev and his group last year.
Kejriwal for transparency in big dam projects in northeast
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal today claimed big dam projects in Assam and other northeastern states had been taken up without transparency and called for people’s participation in decision making.
“We are not against building dams per sector for power generation. But the process has to be transparent and any such project should be taken up only with the consent of the local and affected people,” he told a meeting of the Krishak Mutki Sangram Samiti.
“Village parishads should be involved in decision making process and the matter should not be kept confined to board rooms only,” he said.
He asked the KMSS activists and their leader Akhil Gogoi to unite with other such movements in states like Uttarakhand and create a nation-wide movement.
“People of Assam will become destitutes and pay a heavy price… They will get nothing out of the dams,” Kejriwal said.
He said many expert groups formed by the Centre have expressed reservations about the dam projects including the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Project in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
“The northeastern region is located in a seismologically active and ecologically fragile area. Any big dams could have serious repercussions in case of earthquake or other such incidents,” Kejriwal said.