Lucknow: Clashes erupted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, as locals protested against a land survey conducted by the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) on Tuesday for Transport Nagar Project. The confrontation escalated with stone pelting.
Tension escalated as local residents stopped officials who had arrived for the land survey. After facing strong resistance by local people, the bulldozer and police force were forced to retreat. However, several villagers sustained injuries during the incident.
On Tuesday, a team of VDA and revenue officials, accompanied by police personnel, reached the Karnadadi and Bairwan area of Mohan Sarai locality for demarcation of land that belonged to farmers. However, farmers refused to give their land, and accused the officials of violating the Land Acquisition Act of 2013.
As per reports, people began pelting stones at the officials and police, after which cops resorted to lathi charge and used teargas. Some local people alleged that police entered houses and beat up women and children. Several police officers and protesting farmers, including women, suffered injuries during the scuffle.
After about an hour, the police evicted the protesters as well as cleared glass pieces and stones from the road. After this, the survey process was stopped.
A case has been registered against 11 people under different Sections of Indian Penal Code, including rioting.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Varuna Zone, Manish Shandilya, told mediapersons that it was on the instructions of the government that the encroachment action was being conducted in the presence of police. He claimed that some unruly persons pelted stones, hence the police used mild force to stop them.
Meanwhile, security was tightened in the locality to avoid any untoward incident, he added.
In 2001, the process for the acquisition of land for the proposed Transport Nagar was finalised with the issuance of Ssection-6. About 82 hectares land of four villages, including Mohansarai and Kannadadi, was proposed to be acquired for the project.
However, the farmers claimed that the land for which the compensation was given should be surveyed. Furthermore, most of the farmers said they had not received compensation for their land.
“Many people have not got compensation for the land that was surveyed earlier and now VDA officials are surveying the new land. We will not give our land without compensation, even if they shoot us,” Raj Patel, a farmer, told NewsClick over the phone.
Kishun Patel, whose about 2 bighas land has gone to Transport Nagar project, said he had not received any compensation till now.
“Why would I allow the survey when even after year I have not received the compensation. This is dictatorship and we will not let this happen,” he told NewsClick.
The police allegedly barged into homes of farmers and roughed up women and children. They alleged that not a single female cop was accompanying the police.
“We were watching television when the scuffle took place between the police and the farmers. Suddenly, police entered our village, barged into our houses and beat whoever came their way,” Sushma Patel told NewsClick.