Farmers launch indefinite hunger strike in Aligarh

At least 14 farmers, including two women, today went on an indefinite hunger strike to mount pressure on the government in support of their demands.

Zikrpur: At least 14 farmers, including
two women, today went on an indefinite hunger strike to mount
pressure on the government in support of their demands.

"It is a do-or-die situation for us now. Let Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati come to us here and talk
directly. We will, under no circumstances, hold any talks with
any of her officials," leader of the 61-member Kisan Sangharsh
Samiti, Mandir Singh Tawatia, said today.

The farmers` leader said a pre-condition for holding such
talks was that an FIR should be filed on behalf of the farmers
pertaining to the violent incidents of August 14.

"We also demand that the Centre immediately initiate
concrete measures for redressal of our grievances. It will now
have to prove that it is not just offering us lip service but
is ready to take necessary action," Tawatia said here, about
70 kms from Aligarh.

The farmers have been receiving verbal assurances but "no
longer have any confidence on the words of any government
officials," he added.

Putting forward fresh demands, the Bharatiya Kisan Union
which is supporting the agitation, today raised further the
demand for compensation of acquired land.

During a protest meeting, they said the farmers should be
given Rs 1500 per square metre, which is the highest slab of
the rates offered in Noida.

The Kisan Union also demanded that a central commission
be appointed to review all problems of the farmers.

Meanwhile, Kanchi Lal, who is on hunger strike, alleged
that "some senior district officials had forcibly made me sign
documents for acquisition of my land earlier this year."

He claimed he was threatened with dire consequences if he
failed to part with his land.

The farmers have been seeking the same compensation as
provided in Noida for the land acquired for the Yamuna
Expressway project.

Four persons, including a PAC jawan, had died in clashes
between agitating farmers and police in Aligarh.

PTI

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