Noida land row: Cong demands judicial probe

Rahul Gandhi had today met farmers protesting UP govt`s land acquisition policy.

Greater Noida: Congress Wednesday demanded a
judicial probe into the violent clashes between farmers and police in a village of this Delhi suburb over land acquisition for a expressway development project.

"Our demand is clear. We want a judicial inquiry by a
retired judge into this incident," AICC General Secretary
Digvijay Singh told reporters at the Bhatta Parsaul village

Earlier this week, the village had witnessed clashes
between farmers and state police over "insufficient"
remuneration for land being acquired for the Yamuna Expressway
Industrial Development Authority project.

Singh claimed that the Uttar Pradesh government was
acquiring land at cheaper rates which was later being sold at
Rs 3000 per sqm by the "Chief Minister Mayawati`s family".
"Injustice is being meted out to farmers whose land is
being acquired at rates as cheap as Rs 800-900 per sqm. There
is a bigger scam under which the land is being resold at Rs
3000 per sqm in collusion with officials," he alleged.

"We are against forcible acquisition of land. Farmers`
consent is must," he said and demanded that the government
take no action against the farmers facing police cases till
the completion of the judicial inquiry.

Singh, an AICC General Secretary incharge of party
affairs in Uttar Pradesh, demanded release of all those
arrested after the clashes.

Seeking to draw parallels, Singh said there were no
complaints from farmers in neighbouring Haryana, where land
was acquired for development projects by a Congress-led
"This is the difference between a Congress-led government
and a BSP-led government," he said.

Singh said Congress President Sonia Gandhi had first
raised the issue of a new land acquisition law after the UPA
came to power in 2004.

"The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but could not be
passed in the Rajya Sabha because the BJP opposed it," he

"Later, when the new draft was brought before Cabinet,
Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee
had some problems with it," he said.
Singh said even if the new land acquisition bill was not
passed, the present laws do not state the land can be acquired
forcibly from farmers.

On the visit of Rahul Gandhi to Bhatta Parsaul in the wee
hours today, Singh said the Congress party does not believe in
show-off where media gets to know about the visit of the
leaders to a particular site in advance.

"This is the difference between Rahul Gandhi and other
political leaders," he said.


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