Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 p.m over UP farmer death protests

New Delhi, Aug 17 (ANI): The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m on Tuesday after lawmakers refused to allow proceedings to progress in protest against the death of three farmers in police firing in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh and Mathura regions.

Citing across party affiliations, leaders condemned the police action against the farmers and alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government was coercing the farmers to part with their land for private business ventures.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said a ministerial panel would suggest changes in the land acquisition policy soon so that farmers' interests are not jeopardised.

"The proposed Group of Ministers to be headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar would also suggest amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894," he added.

Mukherjee said the Central Government was in touch with the Uttar Pradesh administration on the issue.

"We have to ascertain the facts (on the Aug 14 firing incident) from the state government," he added

The BSP government in Uttar Pradesh was cornered by the opposition and the Congress over a charge that land was forcefully being taken away from the farmers.

Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded that a report be filed on the issue.

BJP leader Rajnath Singh condemned the forceful acquisition of farmers' land by the government, and said compensation for Aligarh farmers should be similar to what those in Gautam Budh Nagar got.

He also demanded that the government should introduce the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in Parliament, which would address compensation issues.

"We want the government to table the bill in this session only so that farmers in Uttar Pradesh and all over the country don't suffer when their land is taken over," he added.

Trinamool MP Sudip Bandopadhayay demanded that that over a century old Land Acquisition Act should change.

"We are totally against land acquisition by force," Bandopadhayay told Lok Sabha members.

He said the act and SEZ (Special Economic Zone) laws should be changed, while taking the opportunity to raise the Nandigram violence over land acquisition once again.

On Sunday three farmers were killed when police fired at them protesting inadequate compensation against acquisition of land in an area bordering Aligarh and Mathura districts.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to hike the compensation money for farmers.

Farmers will now be paid Rs 570 per square foot instead of Rs 436 per square foot, as was decided earlier.

The government had also decided to double the compensation for farmers who died in the protests to Rs 10 lakh.

The State Government had earlier fixed compensation at the rate of Rs 425 per sq m for the financial year 2010-11 for Aligarh district. Besides, an ex-gratia amount of Rs 24 per sq m was also being given.

The 165-km eight-lane Yamuna Expressway has been taken up by the UP Government to reduce the driving time between New Delhi and Agra. (ANI)

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