3 farmers, 2 PAC jawans killed in clash

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Greater Noida/Lucknow, Aug 13 (UNI) A police-farmer clash over land compensation in Greater Noida today left two PAC jawans and three farmers dead and at least 15 policemen and 45 farmers grievously injured.

The violence 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 the year 2005.

They clashed with the police force with firing from both sides.

Two PAC jawans and three farmers were killed in the clash while 15 policemen and at least 45 farmers were grievously injured.

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.

The state government, however, ruled out any increase in compensation to the farmers.

In a stern warning, the state government cautioned the farmers of dire consequences if they took law in their hands.

Briefing media in Lucknow over the incident, Mr Vijay Shankar Pandey, the principal secretary to Chief Minister Mayawati said the farmers of Ghori Bajhera and nearby villages would continue to get compensation at the rate of Rs 402 per square metre as decided in the year 2006.

He, on behalf of the government, dismissed the farmers' demand of hike in compensation at the rate of Rs 850 per square metre as per the prevailing rate. As per the agreement, the farmers were given compensation for the acquired land in 2006, he said.

PAC and police force from nearby areas have been called in to bring the situation under control.

Confirming only three casualities in the violence, the Principal Secretary admitted police firing and said it was necessiated after farmers indulged in the violence, in which the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Noida was also injured. He said the government would not bow down to the violence resorted to by the farmers.

The state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has, meanwhile, criticised the police firing on the farmers and demanded they should be paid increased compensation immediately.

The BJP has also constituted a team headed by senior leader Hukum Singh to go to the spot and submit fact-finding report to the state party leadership.

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