New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (CPI) has sought intervention to protect the lives of activist Medha Patkar and the agitating villagers in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the move to close the shutters of Sardar Sarovar dam.

“I seek your urgent intervention to save the life of Medha Patkar and hundreds of villagers in Bharwani district. They are protesting against Gujarat government’s move to close the shutters of Sardar Sarovar Dam and raise the water level to 138.68 metres,” CPI MP Binoy Viswam wrote in the letter.

Social activist Medha Patkar has been on a hunger strike for the past nine days, demanding a swift rehabilitation of the thousands who were displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. However, her health has deteriorated after more than a week has passed into the indefinite hunger strike, the Left claimed.

“They are protesting against the Gujarat Government’s move to close the shutters of Sardar Sarovar dam and raise the water level to 138.68 metres,” the Rajya Sabha MP said in the letter.

He added, “This measure will endanger the existence of 192 villages and 32000 families living there. Development should be for the peoples” well being, not to destabilize their lives.”

“Her life is precious for every Indian who stands for environmental protection and real sustainable development. I request you to understand the seriousness of the situation and advise the government of Gujarat to desist from this disastrous move,” Viswam said concluding his letter.

Patkar started the agitation, called the ‘Narmada Chunauti Satyagraha’, as a part of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on August 25 at Chhota Barda in Madhya Pradesh. Since her initiative, at least 10 more villagers have joined her in the protest.

The activist also made it clear that she had no plans of backing out until the government takes measures towards the rehabilitation of the affected. Inaction by government authorities will only intensify the struggle of her and the others protesting, she said.