WATCH: Raj farmers bury themselves partially in pits against land acquisition

WATCH: Raj farmers bury themselves partially in pits against land acquisition
Protesting against the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) notice to acquire 1,300 bigha of agricultural land for a housing scheme, farmers of Ninder village 25 kms from Jaipur are protesting in a unique way from last three days. Around 50 farmers have buried themselves neck-deep in sand pits and they call it 'Zameen Samadhi' (burial satyagraha) launched on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.

Besides these 50 farmers, as many as 400 farmers are sitting on the ground near the pits in support of farmers who launched the ‘zameen samadhi satyagraha’ on October 2. The farmers who have entered the pits include men, women across all age groups. Nagendra Singh Shekhawat spearhead of the Ninder Bachao Kisan Yuva Samiti, told DH, "We have protesting from last 15 days but no one from government came to us to listen to our pleas against land acquisition. So finally on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti we decided to go for 'Zameen Samadhi'. We dig the pits and farmers buried themselves".  As per the Nagendra protesters will stay put round-the-clock and would only come out of the pit to answer the nature’s call. 

The farmers are demanding their land back which government started acquiring land in 2010 for a housing project. Against the land state government has deposited Rs. 60 crores in a court, but the farmers have not accepted it. "The market rates have escalated in seven years and the money government is offering us is too low. Almost 5000 families will become homeless if the government starts building the housing projects", Nand lal a 85 year old farmer protesting in the pit shared.

Ironically on Tuesday after two women, Shanti Devi and Manni Devi, collapsed during the agitation, the government called Nagendra Sing leader of the protest, for the talks. However, talks held between farmer leaders and Urban Development and Housing Minister Shrichand Kriplani remained inconclusive. "We will continue to protest even if I die. We want our land back", Shanti Devi a protestor told DH.

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