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Parliament adjourned over farmers' death in Uttar Pradesh

Monday, August 16, 2010 08:09:02 PM, Agencies

New Delhi: Both houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day after members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party vehemently protested the deaths of two farmers in police firing in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district.

Parliament shut down for the day following continuous interruptions by Opposition MPs – they wanted a statement from the government on the inadequate compensation paid to farmers in an area bordering the Aligarh and Mathura districts. Land here had been acquired for the 165-kilometre long Yamuna Expressway between Noida and Agra.

Former BJP President Rajnath Singh demanded that the government should introduce in Parliament the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, which would address compensation issues.

"BJP has promised its support to the bill as it will help farmers get a reasonable price for their land but the government is still not doing anything on the issue even after two years," the former Union Agriculture Minister told reporters.

Singh backed the Aligarh farmers' demand for the same amount of compensation as had been paid to Noida agriculturists.

"We demand that farmers in Mathura and Aligarh should get the same compensation as the farmers in Noida have received," he said.

Singh also demanded strict action against officers responsible for the firing incident alleging that people protesting peacefully were shot at and baton-charged by the Uttar Pradesh police.

"I will go to Aligarh where farmers are protesting to get better compensation for giving their land for the Yamuna Expressway. I will register my protest there," he added.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters that the UP government's action against protesting farmers was barbaric.

CPI(M) MP Sitaram Yechury said the UPA was delaying the Land Acquisition Bill due to "political compulsions”, as one of its allies was opposing it.

Yechury said the parliamentary standing committee has examined the Bill and made suggestions to be incorporated in it. Yet, the government was not ready to bring the measure before Parliament, he said.

"By not enacting the proposed legislation, the government is denying justice to small land owners," he said.

S C Mishra (BSP) accused Congress, BJP and SP of politicking over bodies of dead farmers and alleged that these parties were not interested in the welfare of small landowners.

He said the BSP was ready for a debate in Parliament, as demanded by these parties, but BJP and SP were not willing to do so and hence were obstructing the proceedings.

Mishra said the Mayawati government in UP has met the farmers and decided on the compensation for them after discussing the issues across the table.

He claimed that farmers were "quite happy" with the compensation and about 80 per cent of them have already collected the money.

On the firing on protesting farmers a couple of days ago, Mishra said the Police Armed Constabulary and state police, who were on security duty at the protest venue, were not carrying any arms. Some miscreants fired from country-made weapons at them in which one of the officers of the PAC was hit by a bullet.

He said the UP government has already taken action against officials of the civil administration and the police for the incidents and ordered a judicial probe into the incident.




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