Police, farmers clash; Several injured; VP, Babbar arrested
FORMER PRIME Minister VP Singh and MP Raj Babbar, along with several supporters, were arrested by police at UP Gate on Saturday.
Also, Rakesh Singh Tikait, son of Mahendra Singh Tikait, Bhartiya Kishan Union leader, along with several of his supporters, were arrested at Mussorrie.
These leaders and their supporters were going to Bazera Khurd (Dadri) to plough the land that was earmarked for the Reliance power project.
Besides, 80 persons were arrested at Bazera Khurd, near Dhaulana, for pelting stones and using firearms against the police. The police had to resort to lathicharge and open fire in the air to disperse the agitating farmers this morning.
Fifty persons, including inspector of Modinagar and sub-divisional magistrate, sustained injuries in the clash.
Two persons were reported to have been seriously injured in police action but the district administration denied it.
Reports said the district administration had acquired the land of eight villages of Dhaulana area for the Reliance power project. CM Mulayam Singh Yadav had assured the farmers in 2004 that they would be paid compensation for their land at the rate of Rs 310 per sq metre but they were paid Rs 150 per sq metre. The farmers were staging dharna and organising demonstration in support of their demand for the payment of compensation at the rate of Rs 500 per sq metre.
VP Singh and Raj Babbar of Jan Morcha and Mahendra Singh Tikait extended their support to the aggrieved farmers and today they were going to Bazera Khurd in this connection.
Piyush Mordia, SSP, Ghaziabad told HT, “I had to make proper security arrangements in an around Bazera Khurd of Dhaulana area as per the high court verdict. I had also sent a copy of verdict VP Singh at his New Delhi residence on Friday night.”
Meanwhile, briefing newsmen about the development, Principal Secretary (Home) SK Agarwal said preventive arrest was made when the former PM was on way to participate in the farmers’ agitation. He said the government move was as per the high court order to provide security to the company site.
The controversy attracted even former UP CM Mayawati's attention. Claiming that the Reliance compensation was not sufficient, she said Singh and Babbar were playing with innocent lives by instigating them. “They should have advised the villagers to move court," she said.