46 farmers protesting land grab and damage to crops detained in Gujarat

The farmers were protesting the compensation offered to them for the Vadodara Mumbai Expressway

Gujarat Farmers

In a spate of incidents of land grabbing and expropriation by government authorities, a recent report by The Indian Express (IE) said that as many as 46 farmers in Old Diva village in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar Taluka were detained by the police for protesting and obstructing the work of officials carrying out land acquisition processes for the Vadodara-Mumbai Express Highway who later damaged the standing crops on 50 acres of land owned by 35 farmers, reported The Indian Express.

The expressway is set to cost Rs. 27,000 crores and Rs. 10,000 crore is to be used for land acquisition.

The police reportedly said that the detained farmers out of the over 100 who were protesting, were released on the same day in the evening as the officials went about their work. The officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) told IE that it was only the villagers of Old Diva who were demanding four times the market value of the land while the residents of the other 26 villages had been given compensation which was twice the 2011 Jantri (base price for market value set by the government) rates. The Jantri rate in Ankleshwar was Rs. 300 per square meter.

Nipul Patel, the President of the Khedut Samaj Gujarat, Bharuch Unit told IE, “We requested the officials to allow us to take the crop and give us some time but they denied and forcefully took the land. This is unethical and we will carry out agitation in the coming days. Thirty five farmers have faced loss of crores of rupees after the officials damaged their standing crop.”

Sagar Rabari, a senior farmer rights leader has alleged that the price of compensation for the land had not been fixed and meetings were going on, the BJP has given a go ahead to allegedly bulldoze standing crop on fertile land, slyly during the lockdown.



In a press note on Facebook, he also said that the land had not been taken for urgent purposes like the construction of a hospital, adding that had the work been stalled for some time, it wouldn’t have affected anybody. Saying that the farmers’ crops were harvested, he questioned that if the six-lane national highway was open, what was the haste of the action taken by the officials? He alleged that it was only the BJP that could send farmers to jail for demanding their own money, further saying that the Farmer Ekta Manch strongly opposed the government’s hasty land grab attempt even before it paid compensation to the affected farmers.

His FB post and videos of farmers being detained can be seen below.


Firstpost had reported in 2019 that over 6,000 farmers were set to be displaced and lose their fertile land due to developmental projects including the Vadodara Mumbai Expressway, the bullet train project and the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). A farmer from the Karjan Block in Vadodara said that he was set to lose all his land to the development projects. He told Firstpost, I’ve lost a little less than two acres in the VME project and a little over an acre for the DFC one. The bullet train project will take away another piece of my land.”

In 2018, the Gujarat High Court had quashed the compensation awarded to farmers for the land acquired for the Expressway and ordered its redetermination in accordance with the law, Outlook reported. Around twelve pleas were filed in the high court, challenging the legality of the method that was adopted by the land acquisition officer to arrive at the compensation amount to be given to farmers.


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