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Farmer leaders protesting SIR arrested, released on bail

Last Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 15:46

Ahmedabad: Two leaders, spearheading farmers` protest against Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region (SIR), were arrested for violating notification under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, police said on Sunday.

However, they were later released on bail.

"Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari (convenors of Jamin Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) leading farmers` protest against state government decision to notify SIR) were arrested last night for violating notification under section 188 of IPC," Mandal police sub-inspector (PSI) JD Jhala told a news agency.

Section 188 of IPC is regarding disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.

"Under this notification, people are not allowed to burn crackers or posters, which they did. These people allegedly burnt posters of Maruti on the backside of the proposed plant," Jhala said.

"They were released on a bail after being produced before a magistrate this morning," he said.

An FIR was lodged against 10 people at Mandal police station for violating a notification under section 188 of the IPC on August 15.

Three months after protests erupted over SIR at Mandal-Becharaji, where the proposed plant of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is expected to come up, the Gujarat government on August 14, bowing down to farmers` demands, downsized the SIR to eight villages from 44.

JAAG had decided to intensify the agitation if the state did not withdraw SIR by August 15. Notwithstanding the decision, they went ahead with their planned programme to hoist the tricolour at Hansalpur on Independence Day.

Following the flag-hoisting that was held in village Dalod (after permission for the same at Hansalpur was cancelled), Mandal police registered an FIR against 10 persons who addressed the mass gathering there, including Lalji Desai, Sagar Rabari, Kanubhai Kalsariya and others.

They were charged with violating prohibitory orders under

Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC.

Apart from Rabari, Desai and Kalsariya, Mandal police registered FIR against three women, BKS leader Jetha Patel, Mahuva taluka panchayat president Narsinh Shiyal and farmer leaders Hasmukh Patel and Abbas Mansuri.

"Police were under tremendous pressure from the state government to arrest us and that is why, they detained us Sec 188 of IPC," Rabari told a news agency after being released.

Farmers from 44 villages have been protesting the state government`s decision to notify SIR on the grounds that they don`t want to part with their fertile land, since close to 50,880 hectares of fertile land would be diverted for industrial use once the decision comes into force.

The farmers` protest had received support from the RSS-affiliated farmers` union Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) on June 8, when it passed a resolution against the Gujarat government`s move.


First Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 15:46

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