Rajasthan farmers stay ‘buried’ in ground in protest over land acquisition
A ‘zameen samadhi satyagraha’ at Ninder village, which has farmers squatting neck-deep in pits to protest land acquisition by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), entered its third day on Wednesday as talks with government officials remained inconclusive.
The JDA has been acquiring agricultural land for a housing project, drawing protests from farmers in Ninder area.
Nagendra Singh, president of the Ninder Bachao Kisan Yuva Samiti (NBKYS), said the two parties were yet to reach an agreement on the issue. “After meeting urban development and housing minister Shrichand Kriplani, we proposed to the JDA commissioner that a fresh land survey be conducted with specific points in mind. The JDA has asked for a day’s time to discuss the issue before taking a decision,” he added.
Singh said Ninder farmers had launched the agitation 14 days ago. “We resorted to the zameen samadhi satyagraha, an otherwise unique form of protest, to draw the government’s attention to their grievances. The agitation will continue until the government agrees to our demands,” he added.
The NBKYS president said the protesting farmers remained inside the pits most of the time, emerging only occasionally to answer nature’s call. Two women collapsed during the agitation on Tuesday.
The JDA plans to acquire 1,300 bighas of land –1,100 bighas of which is privately owned – for a housing scheme announced in January 2011. It has already taken possession of 600 bighas so far, and deposited Rs 60 crore in court for the acquired land.
According to the JDA plan, the proposed project will have as many as 10,000 houses.