Farmers protest in Delhi against land acquisition

New Delhi, Aug. 27 (ANI): Thousands of farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Harayana States marched towards the Parliament on Thursday to draw Central Government's attention to their plight due to land acquisition in their respective States.

They were agitated over takeover by State Government of their lands for building a new highway from Delhi to Agra.

The protest follows death of three farmers in Uttar Pradesh this month, when police fired at protesters demanding more compensation for their lands that were taken to build a 2 billion dollar highway.

Thousands of farmers assembled at Jantar Mantar and staged a sit-in protest to object to the 'forceful' acquisition of land for the Yamuna Expressway, a dream project of Chief Minister Mayawati.

Farmers said the compensation given to them in lieu of the land taken away from them by Uttar Pradesh government was inadequate.

"We have been offered very low cost for our farmlands. We run our households by selling our precious produce like capsicum, onion and other crops, which we grow by hardship and effort. Those crops have been taken by businessmen and authorities, and we are sure they will further sell our farmlands for millions," said Rajkumar Yadav, a farmer from Harayana state.

Farmers criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for their plight.

"The harm, which is faced by all the farmers has been initiated by Uttar Pradesh chief MayawatiJi in the farmlands of Noida, Ghaziabad and neighbouring cities, and collecting money out of it. It is really unfair as far as farmers are concerned. We are here to present our point in front of the Central Government. That is why all the farmers are demonstrating and surrounding the Parliament House," said Rajveer Singh, a protester from Uttar Pradsh's Muzaffarnagar.

Some farm leaders addressed the protestors, and traffic in central Delhi was badly affected.

For the highway project, the Uttar Pradesh government had notified that land would be acquired in 1,192 villages of four districts of Uttar Pradesh for the project worth Rs 90 billion. (ANI)

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