Farmers protest land acquisition in Himachal Pradesh
Farmers with small holdings in villages near the Baddi industrial area of Solan district are up in arms against the Himachal Pradesh Industries department for earmarking their land for setting up an industrial estate.
The industries department has earmarked about 1,500 bigha of farmers' land belonging to SC, ST and OBC families in Guru Majra, Chanal Majra, Dheli Mauja adjoining Baddi for setting up an industrial estate. This has triggered agitation.
Similar to the demonstrations in Singur and Nandigram against land acquisition for setting up industries, protestors under the banner of "Kheti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti" held protests twice last week in Solan resenting acquisition of their land pointing out that more than 4,000 bigha of government wasteland was available in the area.
"If the Himachal Pradesh government continues with its adamant attitude to acquire land then it should be ready to face Singur and Nandigram," Samiti chief Daya Ram told PTI.
"We will lay down our lives but not part with the land, our only source of livelihood," he said.
Ram, along with local Panchayat Pradhan (chief) Ishwar Singh Thakur and Mahila Mandal Pradhan Amarjit Kaur accused the government of taking the land from the farmers at a low price and planning to sell them to entrepreneurs at a hefty sum.
Officials of the Industries department refused to comment on the issue.
Solan Deputy Commissioner Rajesh Kumar said, "representation from the farmers has been sent to the government and a response is awaited".