Angry farmers take on police at Expressway

September 13th, 2012 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Sep 13 (IANS) If you are taking the Yamuna Expressway in the hope of reaching Agra in 90 minutes from Delhi, be prepared to take the U-turn and find another route.

Furious farmers whose land has been acquired for a township are out in strength, ready to block the expressway.

The Yamuna Expressway stretch near Kuberpur in Agra Wednesday turned into a battle zone, with police and groups of farmers exchanging blows. Stones were pelted in the melee, and rubber bullet shots were fired.

The drama continued till late evening, until those arrested were released. Authorities promised protesting farmers that their case would be pleaded at a higher level.

Manoj Sharma, convener of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, told IANS Thursday: “The Jaypee group has promoted a township called Wish Town on farmland. The farmers have no desire to sell their land.”

He said the Allahabad High Court had granted a stay and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reply to notices.

“But the promoters on Wednesday began the sale of plots, enraging the farmers,” said Sharma.

Groups of farmers turned up on the Expressway and sat on dharna. This led to suspension of traffic.

Vehicles were either sent back or told to take a diversion to reach Agra. Police used lathis and rubber bullets to disperse the mobs. Many of the protesters were arrested.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Shakl Gujjar assured the farmers that their case would be strongly pleaded in Lucknow and a solution would be worked out.

Traffic on the Yamuna Expressway was suspended for more than three hours.

The protestors said they were beaten up and accused police of working at the behest of Wish Town promoters.

Hundreds of farmers with their tractors moved towards the Expressway Wednesday evening after learning of police firing and the arrest of their leaders.

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