Forced acquisitions turn green cover red in Uttar Pradesh

Forced acquisitions turn green cover red in Uttar Pradesh

Farmers' fury over land takeover and meagre compensation had even spread to Agra and Aligarh districts in Uttar Pradesh as the number of dead in clashes with security forces in Greater Noida rose to four.

Incidently, this is not the first such incident and would certainly not be the last one either,  if necessary corrective measures are not put in place. Earlier also the farmers have fought pitched battles with the police on this issue in various parts of the state, especially in the western Uttar Pradesh, where the agriculture lands are much fertile in comparison to the eastern parts.

 In all 15 people, including four cops and eleven farmers, have lost their lives in violent clashes between the two over land acquisitions in Aligarh, Greater Noida, Allahabad, Mathura and Agra districts in the past four years. In 2007, the farmers had raised a banner of revolt against what they alleged forcible acquisition of their lands for the Reliance Power plant at Dadri in Ghaziabad district.

Taking a cue from the Dadri agitation, the farmers of Ghora Bacheri village also launched an agitation demanding enhanced compensation for their lands.  As many as five farmers lost their lives during a clash with the cops following which the then Mulayam Singh Yadav government had increased the compensation.

Two years later, the farmers of Bajna village in Mathura district also launched an agitation against acquisition of their lands at throwaway prices.  As expected the agitation turned violent and five farmers were hit when police fired at them. One of the farmers later succumbed to injuries in an hospital.

The farmers of Tappal village in Aligarh district also joined their counterparts in 2010 and demanded compensation equal to that of Noida for their lands acquired for Yamuna Expressway Project.  Three farmers and a policeman were killed when agitating farmers clashed with the police at Tappal.  

Chalesar in Agra and Karchana in Allahabad had also witnessed violent agitations by the farmers on the issue of  acquisition of farmers’ land  for development projects. One farmer was killed in Allahabad in police firing.

While the UP government says that the violent agitations were ‘sponsored’ by the opposition and farmer leaders with vested interests, the opposition charges the government with ‘assuming the role of property dealer.’

Experts are of the view that the problem could only be resolved through a clear cu t, transparent and farmer friendly policy.