New Delhi: Upping the ante on the issue of land acquisition in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the land acquisition issue in Bhatta Parsaul village in Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi also facilitated a meeting of a delegation of farmers from Bhatta Parsaul with the Prime Minister.
“The Prime Minister gave a patient hearing to the farmers’ woes and assured all help from the centre,” the senior Congress leader said while talking to reporters outside 7, Race Course Road here right after the meeting with the Prime Minister.
Gandhi said it was during his short stay at Bhatta Parsaul, the villagers requested him to facilitate a meeting with the Prime Minister.
Taking on the Uttar Pradesh government head on, the Congress general secretary accused the Mayawati government of atrocities against the villagers.
“Poor people are being brutalised. Women are being raped and houses are being destroyed. I am quite concerned about the situation and it is still pretty bad,” he said.
Gandhi alleged that huge heaps of ash of burnt bodies have been found in the villages where farmers were agitating for better compensation for their land acquired by Maaywati government.
Gandhi also showed the Prime Minister pictures purportedly of bodies burnt and other forms of violence against farmers and their family members.
"The issue here is a more fundamental one with regard to these villages in particular and a large number of villages in UP all down the Agra highway, where state repression is being used, where people are being murdered,” he said.
"Quite severe atrocities taking place there....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.
Gandhi said his party remains committed to the passage of Land Acquisition Bill in the Parliament. “It is a complicated piece of legislation. We are confident that the Land Acquisition Bill will be passed in the next session of Parliament," he said.
This was his first comment after his arrest at Bhatta Parsaul.
Congress demanded a judicial probe into the charges of rape of women and murder of farmers.
"What we are asking for is a judicial inquiry...if there are grave allegations made, if there are charges where photographs have been produced, I don`t understand what problem the UP government can possibly face in ordering a judicial inquiry", Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.
BSP dubbed Rahul`s meeting the Prime Minister Minsiter with the farmers of Bhatta Parsaul near Greater Noida as another instance of Congress` "indulging in petty politics" and dismissed as "baseless" the allegation that a large number of lives were lost and women raped in Bhatta Parasul near
BSP leader Syed Kazim Ali Khan "it is yet to be determined if the photographs are genuine. “What is the authenticity of the photographs, who these people are. Are they actually from the village? Are they from the state? Did they disappear? Were they murdered or did they die of natural causes? All this has to be determined," he asked.
The Uttar Pradesh government arrested Gandhi in Bhatta Parsaul village on May 11 under Section 151.
Four people, including two policemen, were killed on May 07 when villagers clashed with policemen for greater compensation for their lands acquired by the Uttar Pradesh government for development projects.
With Uttar Pradesh election a year ahead, Rahul Gandhi is trying to consolidate Congress by raising the grass root issue.
With PTI inputs