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Digvijay Singh, Sachin Pilot arrested by UP police

July 29, 2008 14:03 IST

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Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Sachin Pilot and Rita Bahuguna Joshi were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh [Images] Police at the Delhi [Images] border on Tuesday, when they were going towards state Chief Minister Mayawati's [Images] village to protest against the 'coercive' acquisition of land.

The leaders were prevented at the Delhi-UP border by the UP police from going towards Badalpur, the village of Mayawati, where the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee has organised a 'Kisan Sangharsh Rally' to 'highlight the land lust of the Bahujan Samaj Party chief'.

Singh, Pilot and Joshi were arrested and taken to a nearby police post.

"This is the tyranny of the Mayawati government. We were going towards Badalpur peacefully to express our solidarity with people there who have lost their land," Pilot, the Member of Parliament from Dausa, said after his arrest.

A large number of Congress supporters, who gathered at the border, shouted slogans against the police for arresting the leaders.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Monday alleged that the BSP chief has constructed a palatial house in her native Badalpur village over an area of 47 bighas.

Of these, the spokesman said, 20 bighas are registered in the Chief Minister's name and the remaining 20 in the name of her father Prabhu Das.

"But, they are in the actual possession of 52 bighas and another 50 bighas through benami transfers," Tewari alleged.

Tewari claimed that now Mayawati wants to have a green belt around her house by forcing out the farmers and acquiring their land.

He said that on June 30, notices for land acquisition have been issued to acquire 230.554 hectares of land in Badalpur and 142.160 hectares in Saadupur village adjacent to it.

Tewari claimed that the process for issuing similar notices to acquire land in two other adjacent villages -- Acheja and Bisnaula --  is also underway. The object of this land acquisition is to create a picnic spot and make Badalpur a tourist destination.

"This land acquisition will uproot 2500 families in these four villages, Badalpur-600, Sadhupur-580, Acheja-800 and Bisnaula-500," he claimed.

Digvijay Singh said the Congress objects to the 'forceful' sale of farmers' land at very low prices when market prices are very high.

"How can a government force people to sell their land," he asked.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Noida) R K Chaturvedi said the leaders were arrested under Section 151 of CrPC (preventive action). 

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