Allahabad: Normalcy on Saturday returned in
Karchhana tehsil after agitating farmers agreed to call off
their agitation on an assurance by district administration
that their demands were being taken up with authorities.
Trouble arose yesterday in the district`s Karchhana
tehsil, 40 kms from the city, where farmers from at least
half-a-dozen villages, whose land has been acquired by the
Uttar Pradesh government for a proposed thermal power project,
began staging a demonstration.
A police party asked the agitators to disperse as some
of them were squatting on railway tracks affecting traffic on
Delhi-Howrah route. This led to a "heated exchange" following
which police resorted to "mild use of force to quell the mob"
in which one person was killed and several others, including
three police men, were injured.
Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Prasad said, "The
agitating farmers agreed to call off their agitation late last
night after an assurance that their demands were being taken
up at the appropriate level.
"Their demands include monetary compensation at the
rate of Rs 570 per square metre of land acquired, a job to one
member in each family which is made to part with its land and
proper housing facilities to those who might be displaced as a
result of the proposed power project."
He said the district administration has sought four
months` time from the agitators.
"We have assured the agitators that the company JP
Associates, which has won the bid for the proposed 1320 MW
thermal power project, will not precede with work during this
period," he said.
Besides, the agitators have been given the assurance
that no case will be registered in connection with yesterday`s
incidents, which included torching and vandalising of a number
of vehicles, disruption of rail and road traffic for almost 12
hours and clashes with police, in which an Additional SP, a
Deputy SP and a constable were also injured.
The administration has also announced a compensation
of Rs five lakh to the family members of Gulab Vishwakarma,
who had died during the agitation though it maintained that
"the death was natural, caused by a heart attack and the
solatium was offered in order to pacify the agitators".
Meanwhile, the farmers in the area have reportedly
decided to "peacefully carry on with a relay fast in order to
check the administration from any attempts to renege on the
promises that have been made".
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has condemned the police
firing on agitating farmers and threatened that atrocities
done on them to acquire the land against their wishes will not
BKU President Mahendra Singh Tikait also demanded
amendment of Land Acquisition Act to prevent further
confrontation with farmers.
Land was acquired earlier at a very low rate in
different states, he alleged.
He announced that the BKU would stage a demonstration
in Delhi on March 9 against the Land Acquisition Policy in the
"BKU will send a fact finding committee to the spot
to investigate into the incident and will decide the future
course of action after its report," Tikait said.