Assam CM Tarun Gogoi insists the anti-dam activist call off protest before talks

The health of the fasting Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi deteriorated on Tuesday but he refused doctors' advice and decided to continue with his four-day-old protest here on the anti-mega dam issue in the northeast.

Earlier, a team of doctors from the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital who examined Akhil at the instance of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, advised hospitalisation and infusion of saline. The Chief Minister, however, insisted that Akhil call off his fast before the government invited him for discussion.

The RTI activist and peasant leader has been on fast since May 19 demanding a halt to construction of all mega river dams until impact studies are conducted and a consensus decision is arrived at in consultation with the people; release of anti-mega dam activists from jail; stopping of alleged repressive measures against anti-mega dam movements; and reconstruction of the monitoring camp at Ghagar to allow the agitators to keep a watch on the movement of construction materials by the NHPC to the 2000-MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project site at Gerukamukh along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

“I am not going to call off my fast and will continue until all the demands are met. It is very unfortunate that the State Government is not keen on responding to a democratic form of agitation,” Mr Akhil Gogoi told The Hindu at the fast site at Lakhidhar Bora Khetra. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers and supporters of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, of which Mr, Akhil Gogoi is secretary, staged sit-in demonstrations.