The state government on Friday said that all criminal cases pending against farmers of Tappal (Aligarh) had now been withdrawn. The previous Mayawati government had filed these cases against farmers who were protesting against the construction of Yamuna Expressway from Noida to Agra.
The government, in a statement, said cases against 37 'innocent' farmers, including Sukhiram, Rajpal, Shivpal Horam, had been withdrawn. Earlier in April this year, the government had withdrawn 24 cases. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had promised to take back the cases against farmers during the inauguration of expressway last month. A delegation of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), led by Rakesh Tikait, had also met the chief minister last month to press for speedy withdrawal of remaining cases. The government said the farmers were agitated because of inadequate compensation and resorted to the agitation to protect their interest. The cases had been withdrawn after due consideration, it added.
The Tappal farmers were agitating against the acquisition of fertile land at a very low rate for the controversial 165-km long Yamuna Expressway. Five persons, including a Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) jawan, were killed during the violence on August 14, 2010.
The issue had then snowballed into a major controversy with prominent leaders, including Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, visiting Tappal to express solidarity with the agitating farmers. The government found that the violence during the farmers’ movement was not in the category of criminal violence.