4 farmers killed, 15 policemen injured in clash in UP

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Greater Noida/Lucknow, Aug 13 (UNI) A police-farmer clash over land compensation in Greater Noida today claimed the lives of four farmers and at least 15 policemen and 45 farmers were grievously injured.

However, State Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal tonight said the death toll in the police firing was only three.

He denied death of any policeman in the incident whereas earlier it was reported that two policemen were killed in the violence.

The incident occurred when thousands of farmers from Ghori Bajhera and nearby villages staged a dharna at the Greater Noida Authority demanding increased compensation for their lands acquired in 2005.

Four farmers were killed in the clash while 15 policemen and at least 45 farmers were grievously injured.

According to Mr Lal, two deceased have been identified as Manoj and Yogesh while the third was yet to be identified.

The injured policemen included senior police official R K Chaturvedi, SP Traffic Ajay Sahdev, CO Kuldeep Singh and Surajpur station in charge S K Dubey.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has termed the Ghodibachheda village farmers' violent demonstration as ''unfortunate'' and said the incident was incited by some anti-social elements.

The state government spokesperson said Ghodibachheda villagers held a demonstration at the Greater Noida office which turned violent and certain mischievous elements indulged in stone throwing and firing on the police injuring several policemen, including the SSP.

Initially, the police force and the administration tried to persuade the demonstrators, but they indulged in violence following which the police used force to protect life and property.

The spokesman said strict action would be initiated against those trying to disturb law and order.

He said the compensation of the land was agreed between the previous government and the farmers. Therefore, the demand of giving compensation on the basis of present rates was ''illogical''.

The spokesman said the land of the Ghodibachheda village was acquired by the Greater Noida Authority during the previous government's regime in 2006 and a compensation at the rate of Rs 402 per Sq m was distributed among the farmers with their consent.

He said a committee headed by the commissioner,Meerut division was formed to fix the compensation amount in this area. On the basis of its recommendations, it was decided that whichever land was acquired by the Greater Noida Authority after April 1, 2007, would be provided a compensation at the rate of Rs 850 per Sq m.

There was no dispute in the villages where the land was acquired according to the decision and the farmers were totally satisfied, he added.

The residents of the Ghodibachheda village were now demanding that they should also be given the compensation according to the new rates applicable after April 1, 2007, which is ''illogical.'' It was clear that some mischievous elements were trying to disturb the peace so that their demands could be accepted, he added.

But, the state governemnt would not allow these elements to achieve their nefarious designs.

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