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Villagers, police clash garners political interest

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2008 22:05 IST
Kapil Datta

The Greater Noida clash between police and villagers has snowballed into an election issue with political parties trying to capture the moment to garner votes for next year’s Parliamentary elections.

Villagers in Ghori Bachhera have been asked to participate in a Maha Panchayat on August 18.

Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Mahender Singh Tikait, Gujjar leader Karori Singh Bainsla, Samajwadi Party’s Amar Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh, Congress leaders Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Sachin Pilot are expected to take part in the gathering.

“Jan Morcha leaders are trying to bring former prime minister V.P. Singh also,” said Narender Bhatti, former Uttar Pradesh minister and the man leading the farmers’ agitation after the arrest of Kisan Sangarsh Samiti activists.

“On August 17, panchayats are being organised at Chhalera in Noida and Sakipur in Greater Noida. Also, local leaders have gone underground fearing arrest by police,” said Virender Dhada, former district panchayat chairman.

“The government tried to crush the farmers’ agitation. We have demanded filing of FIR against the guilty policemen. The police fired at police from point blank range. And the death of a PAC man was a rumour,” said Dhada.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Ghori Bachhera village on Saturday and a curfew-like situation was witnessed. PAC men in about 80 vehicles took out a flag march in the area. All entry points to the village were guarded by PAC and Noida Police force. Rapid Action Force had also been deployed.

“Leaders from BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party and RLD visited the families of the victims. They have also promised financial help,” he said. Meanwhile, G Noida Industrial Development Authority's (GNIDA) new CEO Pankaj Aggarwal took charge on Friday.

The authority has stopped all development activity in Ghori Bachhera and other protesting villages till the issue is resolved.