Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait was arrested in Ghaziabad on Monday, while leading his supporters to the Maha Panchayat at Ghori Bachhera village in Greater Noida against the police firing.
Police had opened fire on landowners demanding the right to sell their land directly to private developers on August 13, killing five people. After his arrest, Tikait cautioned the administration, he said “Let me move to Noida alone. It is a request this time. Next time, it will not be so peaceful.”
Earlier various points in the district witnessed heavy traffic jams in the afternoon.
Tikait started from Muzaffarnagar, leading protestors from Haridwar, Saharanpur and Ghaziabad.
Meanwhile, the Maha Panchayat turned out to be a damp squib as only a few of the national leaders could attend the meeting,. Leaders like Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party, Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal and Kalraj Mishra of the Bharatiya Janata Party were arrested in Noida.
Over 2,000 farmers attended the Maha Panchayat, demanding the dismissal of the Uttar Pradesh government.
They also demanded that a murder case be registered against the guilty policemen, especially the circle officer of Greater Noida.
The farmers also demanded that one of each victim’s family members be given a job and a compensation of Rs 15 lakh be paid to the families of those killed.
In the Uttar Pradesh assembly too, Samajwadi Party and Congress members disrupted proceedings repeatedly, demanding that the issue of the police firing on farmers be discussed.
Chief minister Mayawati said the violence was a conspiracy by the opposition. She said, “About 1,434 hectares of land were acquired by the Greater Noida Authority in 2006-07 in Ghori Bachhera and seven other villages. After mutual agreement with the farmers, compensation was paid.”