Farmer-police clash leaves four dead
Three villagers and a policeman were killed, while over 200 were injured, in a clash outside the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority office, reports Kapil Datta.Updated: Aug 14, 2008 00:33 IST
Three villagers and a policeman were killed, while over 200 were injured, in a clash outside the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority office on Wednesday.
The police said they had to fire to disperse the violent crowd.
The incident took place at about 11 am, when the villagers gathered outside the GNIDA office started pelting stones.
The farmers were demanding enhanced compensation for land acquired after 2004.
A committee headed by Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Shravan Kumar Sharma had recommended that an amount ranging from Rs 175 per sqm to Rs 200 per sqm be paid for land acquired up to 2006.
The killed villagers were identified as Yogesh (24), Kalua (28) and Rajinder Sharma (20). The killed PAC man was identified as Sridhar of the 43rd Battalion.
About 50 of the injured were taken to Kailash Hospital, while 150 others were admitted to other hospitals nearby.
Protestors even tried to torch the hospital but were pacified. The mob later burned a police gypsy parked outside the hospital.
By late evening, farmers claimed six of their men were killed, while 35 were missing. Police said they arrested 30 persons.
The police claim the protestors fired first with locally made firearms after which they were forced to retaliate. The villagers, however, claimed the police fired without any provocation.
Charan Singh (80), told HT, “We were demonstrating peacefully. Suddenly, the police resorted to lathicharge and started firing.”
“I, along with another villager, hid behind some bushes. But PAC men dragged us out and assaulted us with sticks till we fainted,” he added.
Victim, Omvir (56), said he was sitting in a park when policemen started beating him up. “I suffered injuries in my eye, hands and legs,” he said.
Protestor Risal Singh was in a more belligerent mood and said the farmers wanted the right to decide whom they sell their land to. “We want the right to sell our land directly to the private builders,” he said.
IGP Gian Singh tried to justify the police shooting. “The police initially deployed water canon, then mild lathi charge and teargas shells. At last they had to resort to firing in the air to disperse the uncontrollable mob,” he told mediapersons.