Farmer protest gets Anna push | india | Hindustan Times
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Farmer protest gets Anna push

india Updated: Aug 11, 2011 00:24 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

The protest against land acquisition by Mewat villagers, who have been staging an indefinite dharna for the last three months, would get a major boost with social activists Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar throwing their weight behind the protesters.

Residents of nine Mewat villages have been demanding higher compensation for their land. The state government had acquired 1,558 acres for the expansion of industrial model township at Raz Ka Meo.

The social activists would address a rally of thousands of farmers drawn from about 4,500 affected families at the dharna site near Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway in Kheri Kankar village, said Azad Khan, a farmer leader.

Khan's 32 acres of land was also acquired for a paltry compensation of Rs 16 lakh per acre in spite of the fact that the land is situated at a strategic spot adjacent to KMP Expressway and Gurgaon-Alwar highway.

The Haryana government had acquired the land from villages Rewasan, Kheri Kanker, Badhela, Roz Ka Meo, Mehrola, Bahadri, Dherdhoka, Kanwar Sikka and Rupa Hedi in May last year for HSIIDC at the rate of Rs 16 lakh per acre.

"Six acres of land acquired for sewerage treatment plant in Jokhapur village (hardly 500 metres from Rewasan village) was awarded a compensation of Rs 55 lakh per acre. Similarly, land in Palwal was acquired at the rate of Rs 44 lakh. The HSIIDC had sold plots to industrialists in the township at the rate of Rs 2.5crore an acre. We feel cheated," said Ramzan Choudhary, the lawyer supporting the farmers.

Choudhary said only 50% of the land owners had accepted compensation.

At present, about 100 farmers and their families take turns to participate in the indefinite dharna.

"On Saturday, thousands would assemble here. Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and others would address the gathering," said a protester.