Two people, including a policeman, were killed and a dozen others injured late on Saturday when farmers demanding higher compensation against acquisition of their land for the Yamuna Expressway between Noida and Agra, clashed with police in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh district, police said.
While the dead policeman was identified as Brijendra Singh, a platoon commander in the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), the farmer who fell to police bullets was identified as Prashant.
According to Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal, "Firing was opened on Saturday night after the protestors took to stone pelting, violence and arson, burning down a police outpost in Tappal village, as well as a camp office of Jaypee Industries, the official contractor engaged to build the eight-lane expressway."
The violence started following the arrest of farmers' leader Ram Babu Katheria, who is spearheading the three-day demonstration to press their demand for a higher compensation.
Katheria is reportedly insisting on a compensation at the rate given to farmers in Greater Noida.
Violence erupting from Aligarh soon spread to Mathura district, where farmers also fought pitched battles with the police and torched several vehicles.
According to Aligarh District Magistrate K.R. Mohan Rao, "Police was compelled to retaliate only after firing was started by some of the protestors."
The 165-km long expressway, which is expected to reduce the driving time between New Delhi and Agra by one hour, will pass through the districts of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura.