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Farmers shun Rahul emissaries

Farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida on Monday told Congress leaders Banshi Singh Pahadiya and Thakur Dhirendra Singh, besides other politicians, to "stop playing politics" and "stay off" the twin villages. Darpan Singh reports.

india Updated: May 08, 2012 01:22 IST
Darpan Singh

Farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida on Monday told Congress leaders Banshi Singh Pahadiya and Thakur Dhirendra Singh, besides other politicians, to "stop playing politics" and "stay off" the twin villages.

Pahadiya is MLA from neighbouring Khurja constituency, while Singh unsuccessfully contested from the Jewar assembly seat, which covers the Bhatta-Parsaul area. Both leaders are close to Rahul Gandhi and they shadowed the Congress general secretary during his visits to Bhatta-Parsaul after a bloody farmers-police clash exactly a year ago.

The two leaders reached the twin villages when farmers were observing the first anniversary of Bhatta violence and performing a 'havan' for two farmers - Rajveer and Rajpal - and two policemen - Manohar and Manveer - killed in the clashes."The only contribution of Rahul's tryst with Bhatta and his run-ins with the Mayawati administration was they helped us tell our story to the world. It did bring peace and police atrocity stopped. But like other politicians, Rahul also used Bhatta to further his political ambitions," said Chandrapal Singh of Parsaul."In police records, 16 farmers are still on the run, nine are in jail. Cases registered against farmers are yet to be withdrawn. The land acquisition bill 2011 is yet to be passed in Parliament. We're fed up of politics. Had they (the politicians) tried, they could have done a lot," said villagers.

After the clash, Rahul held a daylong dharna. Police arrested and let him off at night. Five days after his dramatic motorcycle pillion-ride visit to the area, Rahul took a group of local farmers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for justice. In July, Rahul took out a padyatra from Bhatta-Parsaul and kept raking up the issue till the UP assembly elections got over."It's not only about Rahul. In the run-up to the polls, all political parties used Bhatta for electoral gains," alleged Chandrapal.

Samajwadi Party leader Raman Yadav, who reached Bhatta on Monday, assured farmers that cases would be withdrawn soon. Farmers threatened that they would not allow any construction work in the area till the arrested farmers are released and cases against farmers withdrawn. A woman who was married a day before the clash showed the blood stained clothes. Her father-in-law was badly beaten up who still has not recovered fully.