Greater Noida farmers` stir spreads, 4 killed
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 08, 2011, 23:42
  
Agra/Greater Noida: Protests over land acquisition on Sunday spread to Agra, Mathura and Aligarh as farmers clashed with police and torched vehicles, while the toll rose to four in violence-hit Greater Noida.

The UP Government announced rewards up to Rs 50,000 for information regarding the whereabouts of some farmers' leaders who allegedly instigated the violence.

"Four policemen were injured when farmers turned violent during a protest and indulged in arson" in Chaugaan village in Aitmadpur in Agra, Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said in Lucknow.

He said irate villagers set ablaze several vehicles and tents at a construction site, demanding higher compensation for the land acquired by the Mayawati government for the Yamuna Expressway.

Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters in Lucknow that rewards of Rs 50,000 has been declared on Manvir Singh Tewatia, Rs 15,000 each on Premveer and Neeraj Malik and Rs 10,000 each on Gaje Singh, Kiranpal and Manoj for inciting protestors who clashed with police in Bhatta Parsaul village in Delhi's suburb Gautam Buddha Nagar, killing four persons.

Tewatia has been leading the farmers' agitation at Bhatta Parsaul since January 17.

Claiming that land acquisition or compensation were not the bone of contention, Shekhar said the incident took place due to "political ambitions" of some persons. He, however, declined to elaborate.

He said 22 persons have been arrested in connection with the clash in Gautam Buddha Nagar.

Director General of Police Karamveer Singh said some people also tried to demonstrate in Mathura and Aligarh, but situation remained under control due to "timely police intervention."

The villagers in Chaugaan allegedly opened fire, following which police used force to disperse the agitating mob, Agra DIG Aseem Arun told reporters.

"There was firing from the villagers' side, but the police worked with restrain," he said, adding the situation is under control.

Singh said searches were carried out in Bhatta Parsaul and Achchepur villages which were hit by violence yesterday, and some people have been held.

"Situation in Bhatta Parsaul is under control, heavy police force is camping in the area and some fresh arrests have been carried out," Brij Lal said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been clamped in the district. Areas around the village has been sealed off by the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the dharna site made out of bounds.

A protester, identified as Kalu, injured in yesterday's clashes between police and farmers in Gautam Buddha Nagar died, taking the toll to four in the violence, police said.

Two policemen - Manvir Singh and Manohar Singh - and a farmer Rajveer were killed yesterday in clashes that erupted after police swooped on the village to rescue three state roadways employees held hostage by the farmers since Friday.

District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal, who suffered bullet wound in his leg, and Senior SP SN Singh, who was also injured along with scores of others, were recuperating. Their condition was stable, officials said.

The police action drew condemnation from BJP, RLD, JD-U, SP and Congress, whose leaders slammed the Mayawati government for the situation.

Hitting back at her political opponents, the Chief Minister in a statement criticised the opposition parties for raking up the issue "without verifying facts".

"The opposition parties should act maturely and collect all information before issuing statements against the government so that people do not react to their propaganda.

This might create law and order problem," she said.

The Cabinet Secretary said there was no incident in Tappal (Aligarh), while in Mathura and Agra there were minor incidents but due to others reasons and not due to land acquisition.

"The acquisition of land in Bhatta Parsaul village was done with mutual consent and the process for the same was completed in 2010 itself and villagers were paid compensation Rs 120 crores and Rs 180 crores respectively," he claimed.

Asked about the reasons for the agitation in Bhatta Parsaul, Singh said it was for demanding development of the village, transport, sewer and other facilities.

About yesterday's incident, he said 30 policemen were undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

Meanwhile, eight more injured farmers from Bhatta village were hospitalised today.

The injured farmers claimed that there was none to take them to hospital and they were not going on their own for fear of being arrested.

Two of them had gun shots injuries, while others had fractures and wounds due lathi charge yesterday.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, May 08, 2011, 23:42


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