Farmers attack industrialist over land dispute: 20 injured

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Kakinada, Oct 3 (UNI) At least twenty people were injured when irate farmers armed with sticks attacked the temporary office of an industrialist, defying the orders of the Sub-divisional executive magistrate, at Thammavaram village near here today.

The trouble started when the industrialist Mutha Sasidhar, eldest son of Kakinada Congress MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna, and his men tried to resume construction work in a twelve acres disputed land despite objections by the farmers and village elders.

The Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Kishore Kumar who was also present, ordered the farmers to clear the place announcing that he was promulgating prohibitory orders under section 144.

The background of the present controversy was allocation of 300 acres of lands acquired in 1998 by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) to various industrial units.The farmers complain that they were paid only Rs.1.26 lakhs at the time of acquisition and the same lands were now being sold out to industrialists at Rs.37 lakhs per acre.

The farmers demanded that they should be either paid higher according to the market value or the land be returned to them.

They had even moved the High Court seeking justice which ordered for maintenance of status quo ante pending final disposal of the case.

The farmers questioned the propriety in commencement of work against the court order and alleged that both the police and revenue departments were acting under pressures from the MLA.

This is for the fourth time during last two months that the MLA's son has tried to begin construction in the disputed land.

Police sources said situation at the site, though tense has been very well under control. No arrests have been made so far, as it no complaint was received from the injured who were receiving treatment in various hospitals nearby. As a precautionary measure, a police picket has been posted at the scene of clash.

UNI XR BR SLD BST2307

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