Punjab: Farmer dies in stir over land acquisition

One person died and ten others sustained injuries as police charged with batons to foil a large group of farmers protesting acquisition of land.

Last Updated: Aug 02, 2011, 21:53 PM IST

Chandigarh: One person died and ten others
sustained injuries as police charged with batons to foil a
large group of farmers protesting acquisition of land for a
power project at a village in Barnala district of Punjab.

The police action came when about 1,500 farmers wanted to
move towards Gobindpura village in Mansa district to reclaim
the land acquired for a power project.

Superintendent of Police Barnala Gurpreet Singh Tur
said one farmer died and 8-10 farmers and five policemen were
injured in the lathi charge and the clash that broke out after
the protesters tried to break the police cordon in their bid
to march to the village.

The deceased, who died on the spot, was identified
as Surjeet Singh (65), a resident of village Hamidi in Barnala
district.

The incident occurred when the farmers were going
towards Gobindpura village amid heavy police security in
order to take possession of 171 acres of land acquired by the
state government for setting up a thermal power plant.

The SSP claimed that the body of the farmer was found
two kms away from the trouble spot. There was no visible
injury on his body and the exact cause of death would be known
after the post mortem, the SSP added.

"We will be conducting the medical examination of the
deceased (farmer)" Tur said.

Sukhdev Singh Khokri, convenor of Kisan Sangharsh
Samiti, said women residents of the village had uprooted the
fencing set up by the administation on the acquired land. Some
of the women belonged to those families whose land had been
acquired for the power project, he added.

Seventeen farmers association had announced they would
reach Gobindpura village to reclaim the land as several
farmers had objected to part with the land and even refused to
accept the compensation offered by the state government.

Following the threat issued by the farmers outfits to
take possession of the land, police had tightened the security
around the village and deployed about 1,300 police personnel.

Punjab government is acquiring 880 acres of land for
setting up a thermal power project which is to be developed by
private company Indiabulls under its new power purchase
policy.

However, out of 880 acres of land, farmers owning 171
acres of land have objected to the acquisition process by the
state government.

PTI