Fear of police brutality forces men flee villages

UP land war: Acquisition Bill with changes to mollify Mamata to be introduced soon

As one enters Bhatta village, the main site of the clash between farmers and police on Saturday which left two protestors and two policemen dead, burnt tractors and bullock carts and damaged small cars could be seen on the roadside. Villagers, mainly women, alleged that their property had been destroyed by the police.

“Bhaiyya (brother), you can see that they (police) have not spared anything. They have torched our bullock carts, broken my son’s motorcycle. My son is missing for the last four days, I don’t know if he is live or not,” Kamlesh Devi told this reporter.

Others alleged that the police had killed more people than the number reported. Police had killed young boys of both the villages and burnt the bodies in haystacks (‘bunga’), they charged. Some had been thrown in a canal near the village.

“You can see many burnt bunga. The police used them to burn the bodies of our boys and men. We had shown some bones to Rahul Gandhi also,” said Chandra Devi, an elderly woman. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh who accompanied Rahul Gandhi during the Congress scion’s protest in support of farmers, also said that bones and skeletons had been found. “Many more people have been killed. Skeletons and bones have been found in the bunga of village fields. The body of a girl has been found in a canal,” Singh told reporters here.

Villagers said that hundreds of men of the two villages were missing and their relatives had not been able to contact them. Some men had taken shelter in their relatives’ houses in other districts. Some had mustered the courage to return when Rahul Gandhi reached Greater Noida on Wednesday but after his arrest, they had moved out, fearing police atrocity. Significantly, Greater Noida has turned into a political battleground for parties which have flayed the state government’s land acquisition policy.

Mayawati’s BSP government has clamped prohibitory orders on Greater Noida and all the political leaders trying to enter are being taken into custory on crossing the border.

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