Farmers, police clash in Greater Noida, 3 killed
Agitating farmers took three government employees hostage and then engaged the police who came to their rescue in a gunbattle that left two constables and a farmer dead and several injured. HT reports. Gathering stormUpdated: May 08, 2011 01:27 IST
A farmers’ agitation that has been simmering since January exploded into full-blown violence in Greater Noida on Saturday.
Agitating farmers took three government employees hostage and then engaged the police who came to their rescue in a gunbattle that left two constables and a farmer dead and several injured. There were unconfirmed reports that one more policeman and a farmer were killed.
Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Deepak Aggarwal took a bullet on his right knee while special superintendent of police SN Singh was also injured in the clash at Bhatta-Parsaul. Both are out of danger.
The trouble started on Friday when the farmers — demanding greater compensation for land being acquired for a toll road and other projects — took three workers of a state-run bus service hostage. When the police reached Bhatta to rescue the hostages, they were greeted with “lathis, rods, stones and bullets”, according to one of the injured policemen.
The policemen hit back with teargas and bullets. They managed to rescue the hostages. Enraged by the death of their colleagues, some troops reportedly beat up villagers, including women and children, and set fire to several houses.
More than 200 farmers were taken into custody. After the big fight was over, skirmishes continued till late evening.
Police and administrative officials from Noida, Meerut and Aligarh gathered at ground zero but the farmers refused to talk to them, insisting they’d speak only with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati. They threatened to disrupt the F1 track and Yamuna Expressway projects.
In Lucknow, DGP Karamvir Singh and home secretary Deepak Kumar said Bhatta-Parsaul villagers had asked the administration for a road and the roadways workers had gone there in this regard when the farmers took them hostage. Singh said all genuine demands of the farmers had been met.