Farmers' unrest over land acquisition today spread to Agra, where protesters clashed with police and torched vehicles, even as the toll in Greater Noida violence climbed to four while UP police announced a reward for arrest of a farmer leader for allegedly inciting the agitators.
Four policemen were injured in Chaugaan village in Agra when farmers turned violent and clashed with police demanding higher compensation for their land acquired for Yamuna Expressway.
"Four policemen were injured when farmers turned violent during a protest and indulged into arson," Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said in Lucknow, adding irate villagers torched several vehicles and tents at the construction site.
A protester, identified as Kalu, injured in yesterday's clashes between police and farmers at Bhatta Parsaul village in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, a Delhi suburb, died, taking the toll to four in the violence. Authorities have turned the village into a fortress and prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been clamped in the district. Two policemen -- Manvir Singh and Manohar Singh -- and a farmer Rajveer were killed yesterday in clashes that erupted after police swooped on the village to rescue three roadways employees held hostage by the farmers since Friday demanding better compensation for the land acquired by the state government.
UP police announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for arrest of Manvir Singh Tevatia, who is leading the farmers' agitation at Bhatta Parsaul since January 17. "Tevatia along with around 50 men has been instigating the innocent farmers. 99 per cent farmers are satisfied with the new rehabilitation policy of the state," Lal, who visited the village to take stock of situation last night, said. "A person, who was undergoing treatment at the hospital, died taking the toll to four," Lal said today.
Area around the village has been sealed off by the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the dharna site made out of bounds. The DGP had yesterday said that 15 to 20 people have been arrested after the violence. Police sources claimed that most protesters have gone into hiding. Villagers alleged that personnel of Provincial Armed Constabulary misbehaved and ransacked houses, a charge denied by the force.
The situation remained tense in the village, where farmers torched private vehicles and a bus last night. District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal, who suffered a bullet wound in his leg, and SSP SN Singh, who was also injured along with scores of others, were recuperating. Their condition was stable, officials said. There were reports of the state government considering transfer of some senior police officers but district police were tightlipped on the issue.