Jewar airport: 24 injured as police, farmers clash in Greater Noida village over land acquisition
Twenty-four people were injured when police and farmers clashed at Rohi village on Monday. Among the injured were farmers, policemen and a sub-divisional magistrate.
Around 200 farmers were demanding more compensation for giving up their land for the upcoming international airport at Jewar, and were protesting at a primary school. The protest began shortly before an event at the school where the Gautam Budh district administration was to hand over the letter of possession for around 1334 hectares to the Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (YEIDA) for the airport.
At around 11am, a police team arrived and attempted to detain the agitating protesters. Attempting to resist the move, some farmers allegedly began pelting stones at the police force.
“We were detaining the agitating farmers and taking them to a bus when a group of villagers started pelting stones on our team. Some stones hit SDM Gunja Singh and left also injured three constables. We will file FIRs against the farmers once the administration submits a complaint on the issue,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, deputy commissioner of police, Gautam Budh Nagar. All injuries were minor, said the police.
The police then resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the crowd. The suspected stone pelters fled in the ensuing confusion.
According to police and people in the area, around 20 farmers were also injured in the melee.
Around 7% of a total of around 3000 farmers from six villages- Ranhera, Parohi, Rohi, Kishorpur, Dayanatpur and Banwaribas - have refused to give their land for the airport and filed petitions in the Allahabad high court demanding higher compensation. The administration has deposited their compensation in a tribunal as per rules and acquired their land.
The farmers were staging a protest at the village’s primary school. They were demanding ₹3600 per square metre compensation amount and other benefits for their land acquired for the airport, whereas the UP government has fixed ₹2500 per square metre as compensation.
“We are protesting because the administration is cheating us by giving only ₹2,500 per square metre for our land. The police started removing us from the site forcefully. They injured more than 20 farmers, including women. They misbehaved with women protesters and lathicharged us. Our agitation will continue until we get the justice,” said Ajay Pratap Singh, an agitating farmer.
The farmers from many villages starting protest at Rohi, where district magistrate BN Singh was supposed to officially hand over the letter of possession of 1,334 hectares land to the Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority. Farmers thought protesting at this site will invite adequate attention from the authorities, he said.
“We asked farmers to remove agitation because district magistrate was to hand over a letter to YEIDA. But they started pelting stones on us,” said Singh.
The administration said that law will take its own course against the agitators, who pelted stones.
“It was all peaceful exercise but for today’s incident when some disgruntled elements, who are already contesting their case in High Court and were not the owners of land to be transferred today resorted to stone pelting. SDM was hurt. But then all villagers came on the spot. The land transfer took place peacefully. Whole society backed this project. Law will take its own course in an isolated incident. Police and administration will file FIRs against farmers as the process is underway,” said BN Singh district magistrate Gautam Budh Nagar administration.