Social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on Wednesday led thousands of protesters in laying a siege to Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pratik Hazela's office here and blocking the busy Mahatma Gandhi Road for nearly two-and-half hours. They were demanding an immediate halt to mega river-dam projects in Arunachal Pradesh and other north-eastern States.

The protesters, most of them NGO, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) activists, marched to the DC's office to submit a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister.

Led by Right to Information activist Akhil Gogoi, they demanded that the DC come out to receive their memorandum. However, they were told that seven of them would be allowed to meet the DC in his chambers. However, as the DC did not come out, the KMSS decided not to submit the memorandum. A protester hurled a slipper at the office, before all of them dispersed.

Earlier, addressing the protesters, Ms. Patkar warned Assam of a mass uprising if projects of big dams were not stopped forthwith. Calling for united action to save the rivers, she said all big dam projects must be stopped to protect the northeast from wanton destruction. She fell ill at the protest site.

The KMSS organised the programme to press for halting the construction work of a 2000-MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited at Gerukamukh on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and all other mega dam projects in the north-east.

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