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Ashamed to be an Indian, Rahul Gandhi tells agitating farmers

Wednesday May 11, 2011 09:40:48 PM, IANS

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Greater Noida: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday slammed the police action against farmers agitating for higher compensation for their land and said he was feeling "ashamed to be an Indian" after seeing how the Uttar Pradesh government moved against its own people.

Gandhi, who reached Bhatta Parsaul village in Greater Noida in the wee hours Wednesday giving police the slip, said his party will stand along with farmers till they get justice.

Gandhi said he had been with the farmers for over 12 hours and had seen injustice with his own eyes.

"I have seen the violence unleashed on your youth and women. By seeing what has happened here, I feel ashamed to be an Indian. The state government is tormenting its own people," Gandhi said.

Bhatta Parsaul has turned into a political battleground for parties after four people, including two policemen, were killed in Saturday's clashes between police and farmers. The opposition has flayed the Uttar Pradesh government for its land acquisition policy.

Villagers told Gandhi of "brutality" of police and its "manhandling of people" in the name of search.

He said villagers were not giving any threat to the government but only fighting for their rights.

"Till the time your work is completed, the Congress party will not go from here," Gandhi told villagers.

"I have come here to stand by you."

Farmers in Greater Noida and adjoining areas are demanding more compensation from the Mayawati government for their land.

The Congress said Gandhi had gone to the villages to understand the issues of farmers.

"I don't think any other opposition leader will take trouble to understand problems of farmers like this," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.

She said Gandhi had stated that land being taken for private use should get market rate.

The Congress had earlier sought a judicial probe into the violence involving farmers and said the amended Land Acquisition Bill should be passed by parliament at the earliest.

The party even made a veiled comparison to the situation in Greater Noida with the agitations against land acquisition in Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal and said development cannot be carried forward till people are involved.





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