At least ten officials from a land acquisition department, who were visiting villages around Kinwat tehsil of Nanded district, about 290 km from Aurangabad, were severely beaten up and then paraded half naked through a village by farmers who refused to give their land to a proposed minor dam coming up in the area on Thursday. The Mandvi police station, Nanded, has registered a case of rioting against 300, unidentified people.
About 35 policemen, from the Kinwat police station, who accompanied the ten member team from the land acquisition department, Yawatmal, lead by an executive engineer, Ramesh Pesey, proved no match to the 3000 farmers who lay siege to officials.
Executive engineer, Pesey, though lays the blame squarely on the police men, saying none of the four senior officials with the police force did anything to quell the crowd.
Sub divisional police officer, DB chavan, talking to Hindustan Times, from Kinwat, however, said, it was Pesey who invited the wrath of the farmers, having completely failed to gauge the hostile atmosphere in village over the construction of the dam.
``When he sought police protection with us, on June 28, for this visit, he was very confident the farmers would go with him,?? Chavan, said.
More than 95 villages, from three tehsils, from the neighboring of Yawatmal in Vidharba and Nanded will be affected following the construction of the minor irrigation dam at Khambala, under the upper penganga project.
Work on the project in on since 1999, but progress has been slow following resistance from a number of farmers whose lands will be submerged in the project, especially those from Vidharba.
Most farmers who lead the attack on the officials had arrived from Vidarba, police said.
Resident deputy collector, Nanded, Bhkaji Ghuge, said, it was obvious officials from Yawatmal had failed to conduct the preliminary talks with the villagers on allying their fears on a fair compensation package and rehabilitation measures the state government had planned.