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Protest at Dadri quelled

india Updated: Aug 18, 2006 01:16 IST

VP Singh, Babbar, Bardhan arrested

FORMER PRIME Minister V P Singh, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan and Jan Morcha president Raj Babbar were arrested on Thursday when they tried to enter UP defying ban orders to address a farmers’ rally in Dadri against the acquisition of land for a Reliance Energy power project.

Police stopped the leaders and their supporters near Ghaziabad on National Highway 24. The rally was banned by the State administration that also clamped prohibitory orders in the area. Besides Singh and Bardhan, Lok Jana Shakti Party MP Ramchandra Paswan and former SP MP Sakshi Maharaj were also arrested.

Farmers’ union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait and his supporters were also arrested from Meerut. Police also arrested state CPI (ML) secretary Akhilendra Pratap Singh along with his supporters who were on their way to join the rally.

VP Singh pledged to fight the cause of farmers and would not allow the Reliance Project to be implemented without farmers getting their legitimate compensation. Singh warned the CM  that he would not be able to suppress the villagers’ voices as it had now snowballed into a mass movement
However, some protesters managed to defy the ban to get into Dadri. They courted arrest shouting anti-Mulayam slogans.

Giving details of the arrests, SP SK Singh said around 950 protestors were arrested from various places in Dadri. About 250 people were arrested from Ghaziabad. About 100 had managed to reach the rally site, were arrested and later released.

The CM said the project would be completed despite political roadblocks. “These people don’t want development and are only interested in petty politics,” Yadav said.’

All roads leading to Dadri and Bajheda Khurd — the  Reliance project site – had been sealed. The Greater Noida-Sikandrabad Road had also been sealed.

Motorists using Sector 14A route, Electronic City, Model Town and Kondli area faced a tough time.

The State  administration has made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident in the region. The PAC personnel and several companies of Rapid Action Force have been deployed.

Meanwhile, the State Government today asserted that no demonstration or rally was allowed at the Dadri project site.

Principal secretary (Home) Satish Kumar Agarwal and DGP Bua Singh talking to mediapersons said the former prime minister along with 600 others reached the State’s border in Ghaziabad district in a cavalcade of nearly 100 cars. The leaders addressed the small gathering there from a makeshift dais, they said.

In all 97 arrests were made on the spot, the officers said. They added that those arrested have been put at the Vasundhara guesthouse. They were still in custody, they said. All arrests were made in a peaceful manner, they said.