UP: Farmers protesting land acquisition warn of battle ahead

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3 Nov 2010
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Chandauli(UP), May 29: Tension has gripped the Mughalsarai area here, as hundreds of farmers are staging protest against land acquisition by Varanasi Development Authority (VDA).

Farmers of Katesar village, armed with sticks, axes and various farming instruments, are staging dharna since May 24 against the land acquisition.

The sit-in started on May 24 and will continue till the demand of the farmers are met by government, a farmer said.

"We (farmers) will fight a bloody battle if this land acquisition is not cancelled. We will commit suicide by setting ourselves ablaze on June 1 if our demands are not met," Ram Lakhan Yadav, president of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti(KSS) said.

More than 1500 farmers are being affected by the acquisition, he alleged, adding that on May 22 the district officials had assured them that their demand would be considered and there would be no further land acquisition in the village.

But, this was not fulfilled, he said. A heavy police force has been deployed in the area in order to prevent any untoward incident.

300 hectare of land was needed for the cultural hub project of year 2008, in which 121 hectare is to be acquired in Katesar and rest in Kodopur village, VDA sources said.

A total requirement of fund in the project would be around Rs 115 crore for the first phase, and housing and urban development corporation (HUDCO) had assured a loan in this regard, they said.

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