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Farmers' stir: Tension simmers in western UP, BJP calls for bandh

Last updated on: May 10, 2011 13:10 IST

Farmers' stir: Tension simmers in western UP, BJP calls for bandh

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The situation was tense but under control on Tuesday in parts of western Uttar Pradesh hit by farmers' unrest over land acquisition as police released sketches of 24 troublemakers who incited violence in Agra and maintained a strict vigil.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has, meanwhile, called for a bandh in Greater Noida and Noida to protest police action on farmers. BJP workers were seen visiting markets and requesting shopkeepers to down their shutters in the two areas.

"The situation is normal and completely under control. To avert further trouble in Bhatta Parsaul village, where four persons, including two policemen were killed in clashes on Saturday, heavy deployment of force continues," a senior police officer said. Along with civil police and Provincial Armed Constabulary, two companies of Rapid Action Force is also camping in the area.

In Greater Noida, police were making efforts to arrest Manveer Singh Tewatia, who allegedly instigated the farmers, and his five aides. Tewatia, who has more than 20 cases against him, has been leading the farmers' agitation at Bhatta-Parsaul since January 17. The state government has announced a reward of Rs 50000 for the arrest of Tewatia.

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Image: Farmers scuffle with police during a protest march at Noida in Uttar Pradesh on May 8
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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The Agra police released posters of the troublemakers based on the video footage of the violence in the district. "We have released posters of 24 troublemakers so far which have been pasted in the village. Of them 15 have been identified by the villagers," Deputy Inspector General Agra Aseem Arun said.

He said the administration and police officers held a meeting on Monday with the villagers in Chalesar. "Four FIRs have been lodged in which 24 people have been named, but we are investigating thoroughly as some objections were raised by the villagers over the names," the DIG said.

After the police action on protestors in Greater Noida, several villagers were seen moving out of Bhatta village. "All our male members are either missing or injured and admitted to hospital. To avoid 'harassment' from policemen it is better to move to our relative's place at a nearby village," said a woman who was going with her daughter to her relative's home.

The district administration has sent a medical team to Bhatta village to provide medical aid to the needy. Chief Medical Officer Vijay Deepak Verma said a three-member team of doctors has been sent to Bhatta village.

With many incidents of fire reported in the village, the fire department has stationed two fire tenders in Bhatta village.


Image: Farmers are protesting over their land acquisition row for the ongoing construction of an expressway highway by the government
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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Four persons, including two policemen, were killed when villagers clashed with security forces during an operation to rescue three roadways employees on Saturday in Greater Noida. A total of 13 injured farmers have been admitted to hospitals in the aftermath of the clash. Doctors have described their condition as stable. The condition of Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal and SSP SN Singh, who were injured in the clash, was stable, doctors attending on them said.

"There is complete peace in Noida, Agra and Aligarh and there is no report of any trouble," Inspector General of Police A P Maheshwari had told reporters on Monday.

After Saturday's violence and death of two farmers, Noida has turned into a political battleground for parties, which have flayed the UP government's land acquisition policy.

BJP leader Rajnath Singh and SP leaders Shivpal Singh Yadav and Mohan Singh were detained by thpolice on Monday while attempting to reach Bhatta Parsaul village.

Rashtriya Lok Dal, whose chief Ajit Singh was detained on Sunday, has constituted a five-member committee headed by state president Baba Hardeo Singh to probe the incident. The committee has been directed to submit its report within a week's time, party spokesman Anil Dubey said.


Image: Farmers shout slogans during a protest march at Noida
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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