Self-immolation: MP farmer battles for life, cops launch drive against protestors
A farmer who set himself ablaze in Anuppur district over the acquisition of his land by Madhya Pradesh government was battling for life on Sunday even as police launched a drive against people who joined a protest triggered by the self-immolation.bhopal Updated: Jan 18, 2015 22:09 IST
A farmer who set himself ablaze in Anuppur district over the acquisition of his land by Madhya Pradesh government was battling for life on Sunday even as police launched a drive against people who joined a protest triggered by the self-immolation.
Anandram Rathore, 45, poured kerosene and set himself on fire on Saturday when officials and policemen went to his land to begin laying a railway line leading to a private power plant. Rathore, who suffered about 65% burns, was moved from a state-run hospital in Jabalpur to a private hospital and officials described his condition as critical.
Police launched a drive against residents of Jatahari town of Anuppur, 656 km east of state capital Bhopal, accusing them of rioting, using force against police officials and obstructing officials. Sixteen people had been detained and more detentions were likely, officials said.
Police said a total of 36 local residents had been booked under sections of IPC for rioting, inciting violence and obstructing government work. "We have detained some accused and the rest of them will be arrested soon," said superintendent of police Nimish Agrawal.
A part of Rathore's land was acquired by the government and given to a private thermal power company for building a railway line leading to the power plant. However, he was unhappy with the compensation given by the government.
After Rathore's self-immolation, a clash broke out between local residents and police. Eight people, including policemen, were injured. Following the incident, section 144 was imposed in Jatahari and a large police contingent was deployed.
Anuppur's district collector NS Parmar said, "The situation is improving in the town. Police are taking action against those who were involved in the clash. The farmer's land has been acquired but he was not giving possession of the land."
The construction of the railway track, which was started on Saturday after the violence, was completed on Sunday. "The construction of the railway track was almost completed but a small section remained incomplete due to the protest. Today, it was completed," said Parmar.
The incident comes at a time when the Union government is seeking to water down certain provisions of the land acquisition law to boost infrastructure and big-ticket projects. This has become a sensitive issue for farmers, whose land is their only source of income. Agriculture contributes 14% to India's economy and 600 million people depend on farming for their livelihood.
Read:Clash after farmer sets himself ablaze over land acquisition, 8 injured