Land acquisition row: UP farmers launch hunger strike

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Aligarh, Aug 31 (ANI): Fifteen farmers, including two women, went on an indefinite hunger strike in Aligarh on Monday, demanding better compensation for land acquired by the Mayawati government for the Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway project.

The agitating farmers have also demanded that Chief Minister Mayawati hold direct talks with them, and not through bureaucrats or ministers, to settle the issue.

They also complained that the government has cheated owners and tillers of lands, and they would continue their protest till justice is delivered.

"This is a fast unto death, and all of us 15 people are sitting here for 34 days because our demands have not been fulfilled. Now, we want to show the government that we can get our demand fulfilled even at the cost of our lives," said Manveer Singh, a leader of a farmers union

"We are sitting here to protest and, we are sitting here, to live or to die. Till the time Mayawati will not give us an answer, we will protest. We will die, but, we will not abandon this protest," said Rajendri Devi.

Three farmers have been killed in police firing while they were protesting against inadequate compensation for land acquired in an area bordering Aligarh and Mathura Districts.

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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