More than a year after farmers clashed with the administration in Bhatta-Parsaul, district-level officials, including the Yamuna Expressway authority, still tread carefully. A five-point demand letter of farmers forwarded by the state government has been travelling from one table to another as no officer is willing to receive it.
On Monday, the letter reached the sub-divisional magistrate with the main demand being withdrawal of cases against farmers.
Earlier, the letter had been sent to the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), but it was returned. The Uttar Pradesh secretary (administration), Prabhu Shankar, had forwarded the farmers' demands with a cover letter to the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate and the YEIDA. He had directed them to consider the demands on a priority basis. The district and authority officers, however, feel the demands can be addressed only at the state government level.
Farmers Trilok Singh, Satyapal Singh, Satyavir, Dhan Singh, Kali Charan, Ompal, Monti and Hardan Singh had sent memorandum to the UP chief minister mentioning the history of the agitation with five demands.
Their first demand is withdrawal of cases against innocent farmers. Second, they demand financial help and jobs for one family member of the deceased farmers Rajpal Tevatia, Rajbir Malik and Thakur Hari Om Singh. Third, they seek financial help for the injured and those who have been rendered handicapped after the police crackdown. Their fourth demand covers compensation for property damage and the fifth concerns an impartial inquiry and action against guilty officers.
Nine farmers, including leader Manvir Singh Tevatia who had spearheaded the agitation, are still in jail. They have been booked under various sections of the Indian penal Code (IPC) for rioting, kidnapping, attempt to murder, murder, holding officers under illegal detention, provoking innocent farmers violence and firing at the police team when they went to rescue three roadways employees held hostage.
Meanwhile, Nutan Tevatia, wife of arrested farmers' leader Manvir Tevatia, said her husband had n vested interest in the agitation. "He was fighting the farmers' cause, demanding justice and the right to sell their lands. He has been implicated in false cases. Now, I hope CM Akhilesh Yadav will let justice prevail and withdraw the cases," she said. Tevatia was arrested on July 9 last year and has been in jail.