Barmer (Rajasthan): Hundreds of farmers in this Rajasthan district bordering Pakistan are up in arms against the state government`s notice to acquire 2,300 hectares of land for an unspecified public purpose.
"We will never part with our land for any government project at any cost," a farmer staging a sit-in outside the district headquarters told IANS Saturday.
"Let them first disclose the purpose of acquisition of this 2,300 hectares of land from a dozen villages, which supports more than 1,500 families," Ritesh Sharma, secretary of Legal Mitra, an NGO, which is part of the agitation against land acquisition, said.
According to official sources, the land is being acquired for a lignite mining project.
"The government is acquiring our land without informing us that what reason it is being acquired. The only reply we have got from the state government so far is that the land is being acquired for public purpose work. We have a right to know the details," said another farmer.
"Where will the farmers go after being uprooted from here?".
Vikram Singh Rathod, a key organiser of the protest, told IANS: "We have filed a writ petition in the high court and asked for transparency and avoidance of unnecessary land acquisition."
The protesters marched through Barmer town, 530 km from state capital Jaipur, and staged a sit-in that will continue till October 30. They have also submitted a memorandum to the district collector.
"Every time, in the name of national interest, farmers are compelled to part with their land. But this time, we want transparency," Chagan Singh, a farmer, said.
The issue has also become a Facebook campaign.