Farmers death: UP intelligence team probes evidence

Rahul Gandhi had accused the Mayawati govt of committing atrocities against Bhatta-Parsaul farmers.

Updated: May 17, 2011, 15:02 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Lucknow: A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi accused the Mayawati government of committing atrocities against the farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida, an intelligence team of the UP government reached the village on Tuesday to investigate the matter.

The team will visit each farmers house and question them in detail.

The authorities in Uttar Pradesh have also sent the samples of the ashes to Agra Forensic Laboratory for examination.

Turning the heat against the Mayawati administration, Rahul Gandhi had on Monday complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about “state repression" of farmers seeking higher compensation from the Uttar Pradesh government.

"There is a set of large 74 heaps of ash there with dead bodies inside. Everybody in the village knows it. We can give you pictures. Women have been raped, people have been thrashed. Houses have been destroyed," Gandhi told reporters.

Rahul had taken eight farmers from Bhatta-Parsaul to meet the Prime Minister where he handed over pictures of burnt bodies, ashes with bones and ransacked houses to the PM.

"The issues are more fundamental with regard to these villages. In a large number of villages in Uttar Pradesh, all down the Agra highway, where state oppression is being used, people are being murdered, women being raped, people have been thrashed and houses destroyed," he said.

The Mayawati government, reacting to the allegations, had issued a late night statement terming the allegations of rape and murder as a "bunch of lies".

"Apparently, Rahul Gandhi had resorted to issuing such baseless and wild allegations simply because his party had failed to carry out the necessary amendments in the hackneyed law that was detrimental to the interest of the farmer."

Speaking on the Land Acquisition Bill, Rahul sounded optimistic, "We are committed to the Land Acquisition Act. Land acquisition is a complicated piece of legislation that we are working at”. Rahul added that it will be passed in the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning mid-July.

Reacting on the issue, Mayawati government said that it was paying higher compensation to villagers for acquired land in comparison to the Central government.

"Farmers were being paid at the rate of Rs 44 lakh per acre for their land acquired in Noida, Rs 36 lakh per acre in Greater Noida, between Rs 22 lakh to Rs 35 lakh per acre for land acquired for Yamuna Expressway in different districts," it said.

Four people, including two policemen, were killed on May 7 when villagers clashed with policemen for higher compensation for their lands acquired by the Uttar Pradesh government for developmental projects.

The Congress has also announced a rally in Mayawati`s native village of Badalpur next month to keep up the momentum of its agitation against the Bahujan Samaj Party government on issues concerning the farmers. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are visiting Varanasi on Wednesday to attend a party meeting.

Assembly polls will be held in Uttar Pradesh next year and the Congress has been vociferously raising issues concerning the farmers.