Congress seeks judicial probe into Greater Noida violence (Lead)

May 10th, 2011 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Congress Monday sought a judicial probe into the violence involving farmers in Uttar Pradesh and said the amended Land Acquisition Bill should be passed by the parliament at the earliest.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari 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.

“Whatever be the reason and motive, the way the chief minister has tried to start a new tradition of development by use of sticks and guns will have far reaching impact,” Tewari said, referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Agitating farmers in Bhatta Parsaul village of Greater Noida had Friday held captive employees of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. When security personnel went to rescue the officials Saturday, the farmers attacked them, and in the violence two farmers and two police men were killed. Fifteen people were critically injured in the clashes, including the district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, Deepak Agrawal. The two officials were freed Saturday.

Tewari dismissed suggestions that the situation over land acquisition would not have arisen in Greater Noida if the amended Land Acquisition Act had been passed by Parliament.

“Land is on concurrent list. There is nothing in any law which stops state goverments from working out an area-specific project,” Tewari said.

He rejected the contention that the Land Amendment Bill could not be passed due to opposition from Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee.

“On a matter as contentious as land acquisition, various parties of UPA may have different positions but it does not mean that any political party can veto UPA’s policy and programmes.”

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters here that Mayawati’s “greed” was responsible for the violence involving farmers.

The farmers are demanding increased financial compensation for the land they claim has been forcibly taken away from them to build the 156-km Yamuna Expressway, between New Delhi and Agra. When ready, the expressway is expected to cut travelling time between New Delhi and Agra by an hour.

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