An impressive gathering of farmers from more than 140 villages in Noida and Greater Noida have been seen marching towards Parliament on Thursday after the demands of three farmer unions to resolve their longstanding issues related to land acquisitions have yet to be met. Social media, ‘X’ is flooded with images of impressive tractor rallies and the usual comments from the media of this causing a “traffic snarl.”
Farmers are coming back to Delhi to agitate for law on MSP. This will disrupt BJP’s dreams of an imminent third term.
— rkhuria2 (@rkhuria2) February 8, 2024
At present, there four protests are going on in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The Jai Jawan Jai Kisan organisation heads the protest against the Ansal builders, All India Kisan Sabha against Greater Noida Authority and Bharatiya Kisan Parishad at National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) headquarters in Sector 24 and Noida Authority in Sector 6.
All these organisations have together called a Mahapanchayat on Wednesday at the Greater Noida Authority office, where a decision was taken to march to Parliament on Thursday, demanding the resolution of their issues in a time-bound manner.
The farmers have two major demands. First, as compensation for their land acquired by the authorities for different developmental projects, they demand 10 per cent of residential plots for their families on the developed land.
The farmers also argue that most of their land was acquired making them landless. They ask how their families and future generations would survive even as the government boasts of development by taking their land.
Presently, the Noida Authority grants the farmers 5 per cent of the total acquired land, which they have termed insufficient. The Greater Noida Authority gives them 6 per cent of the developed plot while the Yamuna Authority gives them 7 per cent as land acquisition compensation.
In addition, farmers have demanded additional monetary compensation — amounts based on market rates when the land was acquired for different projects. The farmers allege that their land was acquired many years ago at a cheap rate and they are suffering even now as a consequence.
The farmers have also been demanding jobs and medical facilities for their families for the last several months. The Authority officials said they are in talks with farmer leaders and an amicable solution would be reached soon.
Massive Repression by UP Police
Meanwhile a press release of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) stated that despite the fact that several leaders were put under house arrest, the protest was successful
Farmers and landless from various villages under the leadership of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Gautam Buddha (GB) Nagar district committee, Bharatiya Kisan Parishad and other organisations began the rally on the Yamuna Expressway but were soon barricaded by the UP Police.
The repressive measures of the UP governmenthad started the night before when AIKS GB Nagar district president Comrade Rupesh Verma and convenor Comrade Veer Singh Nagar were arrested and taken to Dadri police station. District president of the AIKS, Jagbir Namberdar has been put under house arrest, along with other leaders. In a disproportionate manner, the UP police also stopped the people from Sadhopur village who were en masse joining the Parliament March and put them in an open jail in a public park. These incidents show the anti-democratic attitude of the UP government towards the rural population of Greater Noida states AIKS
Despite the repression, farmers were able to reach the Yamuna Expressway and are currently blocking the expressway at the police barricading. Their immediate demand is that the UP police must release the leadership as well as release the jailed farmers of Sadhopur village, which include women and elderly as well.
The farmers and landless of the region have been holding sit-in protessat the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) and Noida Industrial Development Authority (NIDA) headquarters since 2023 demanding fair compensation according to the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, return of 10% developed land, lease-back of acquired abadi land, permanent employment for affected families, 40 square metre plots for landless families, and other demands. After a 120-day protest by AIKS at GNIDA office last year, the CEO had accepted a number of these demands. But despite more than four months passing since, the UP government failed to implement any of the accepted demands. This has enraged the farmers who not only restarted their indefinite dharna at the GNIDA office but also gave a call banning entry of any political leader, MLA or MP associated with the BJP from entering the villages in Greater Noida.
The AIKS, through ots secretary, Vijoo Krishnan has demanded that all the arrested and detained be released from police custody immediately and that the UP government hold discussion with the leadership of the farmers.