Land acquisition in Mayawati’s village: two top officials suspended

August 6th, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Greater Noida, Aug 6 (IANS) Two top officials, including the deputy chief executive officer here, were suspended for being lax towards problems being faced by farmers in getting compensation for land acquired in and around Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s Badalpur village, an official said Wednesday. Mayawati suspended Pramod Kumar Agrawal, deputy chief executive officer and S.A.A. Rizvi, general manager projects late Tuesday night.

Farmers’ representatives had laid siege at the Greater Noida office on two occasions in the past.

The farmers struggle committee had organised a protest rally July 31 at Mayawati’s village Badalpur. Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the state’s Congress president, and Sachin Pilot, MP, were arrested at the Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad while trying to take part in the rally. Joshi has said the Greater Noida authority was acquiring land in Badalpur village at a rate six times lower than the market price.

The authority is developing a world-class recreation centre in and around Mayawati’s mansion at her village.

On Tuesday, over 1,000 farmers laid siege to the Greater Noida Authority office at Gamma sector. Expressing resentment against the compensation rates for their agricultural lands, they started a sit-in.

The farmers scuffled with the policemen who prevented them from entering the office. They broke the flower pots in the office corridors.

The agitating Greater Noida farmers threatened to immolate themselves if their demands were not met.

Ram Dev Rawal, a member of the Greater Noida Kisan Sangharsh Manch, said that this government was “anti-farmer and anti-people”.

The villagers have demanded that the new land acquisition rates of Rs.850 per sq m, announced by the state government in 2008 should be applied to their lands, too. Their land was acquired in 2006, at a rate of Rs.322 per sq m.

“We want the new rates to be applicable to our 2006 acquired lands,” said Jagveer Nagar, one of the villagers affected.

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