Haryana’s Rewari area calm, highway traffic restored

July 23rd, 2012 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Rewari (Haryana), July 23 (IANS) An uneasy calm settled over this Haryana district Monday, a day after violent clashes between farmers and police over land acquisition left about 50 injured, as protestors were persuaded to lift the blockade of the busy Delhi-Jaipur national highway (NH)-8).

Police sources said that the farmers agreed to hold talks with the state government within the next three days to resolve the issue of land acquisition.

It was only after assurance from the state government through the district administration that the farmers agreed to lift the blockade.

No official of the district administration, the police or the state government was willing to comment on the issue. The farmers’ leaders also have kept mum on their future action.

According to sources, Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has agreed to meet the agitating farmers to resolve the land acquisition issue.

Over 50 people, including 40 police personnel, were injured Sunday afternoon as an agitation by farmers turned violent near Asalwas village in Haryana’s Rewari district.

The farmers, who were opposing acquisition of their lands, had gathered for a mahapanchayat Sunday to discuss the acquisition of over 3,000 acres of land by the state government in over 20 villages for setting up an industrial area.

Police officers, including two women officers, were cornered and beaten up by the protestors. One woman officer fainted after being attacked.

“Immediately after the mahapanchayat, the members of Sangharsh Samiti blocked the National Highway No.8. Despite repeated requests to lift the blockade, they did not pay any heed and resorted to violence. A woman deputy superintendent of police, along with 40 other personnel, was injured,” a spokesman said.

Five vehicles, including state transport buses, were set on fire. A fire brigade vehicle, which reached the spot, was also set on fire by the protestors.

The police post at Kasola village was also burnt down, said a district administration official.

Police Sunday fired shots in the air after cane-charge and tear-gas shells failed to control the farmers in Bawal block of the district who blocked the busy Delhi-Jaipur national highway, some 325 km from state capital Chandigarh.

The protesting villagers, mostly from the Gujjar community, held some policemen captive for some time.

The Bawal belt already has an industrial estate and the Haryana government wants to expand it.

Trouble broke out when the farmers moved towards the highway and blocked it.

Rewari Deputy Commissioner C.G. Rajnikanthan and Superintendent of Police Abhishek Garg appealed to the members of the committee of agitating farmers and other people to maintain peace and not to take law in their own hands. They urged the agitators to solve the issue of land acquisition in a peaceful manner.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had urged the protesting farmers to resolve the issue through dialogue and not to take law in their own hands.

Earlier this month, the farmers had damaged government property and vehicles to protest the land acquisition. The police had booked 400 farmers for that violent incident.

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