Greater Noida: An upcoming residential and commercial hub, Greater Noida is now the scene of a violent farmers' agitation against land acquisition.
The Bhatta Parsaul village in Gautam Buddha Nagar district is tense following the death of two policemen and a villager yesterday in bloody clashes between the protesting farmers and security personnel. (Read: Greater Noida farmers thrash two policemen to death) One more farmer, reportedly, died today taking the death toll to four.
The farmers were demanding better compensation for their land acquired by the Uttar Pradesh government and had taken three state-run roadways employees hostage since Friday.
Even as security personnel managed to rescue the hostages, scores of people including the District Magistrate (DM) Deepak Aggarwal and an SSP were injured in the ensuing clashes.
The administration has now imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the area to prevent further violence. The entire village has been taken over by the police including top officials who are camping at the site. Most of the villagers, reportedly, are absconding.
The police have also announced a cash prize of Rs 50,000 on Manveer Singh Tewatia who allegedly incited the mob violence yesterday.
Tewatia, who spearheads the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, escaped from the spot immediately after police action began, the police said.
"He was spreading anarchy in the area and there was information that his group of 50 to 100 youths were having illegal arms...he was misleading people and trying to create dispute when none actually existed," Director General of Police (DGP) Karamveer Singh told reporters in Lucknow yesterday.
The Opposition, meanwhile, blamed the Mayawati government for the violence alleging that it was indulging in "loot of farmers' land" and that the incident reflected the anarchy that prevailed in the state.
"In the home district of Mayawati, farmers are being shot dead. Farmers' land is being acquired at throw away prices," UPPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
"It is government of looters and land acquisition has become their favourite pastime. People have lost their confidence in Mayawati," she said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too trained its guns at the Chief Minister and demanded that no agricultural land should be acquired till the pending legislation on the issue is passed.
"BJP condemns the attacks against farmers. Had the Mayawati government acted on time and intervened in the matter, this would not have happened. No farm land should be acquired till the land acquisition Bill is passed by Parliament" senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh told PTI.
The farmers have been agitating since January 17 for better compensation for their land acquired by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Meanwhile, the Jaypee Group yesterday denied reports that the ongoing farmers' agitation in the city is related to any of their projects, including Yamuna Expressway and Formula One Motor Racing track developed at Dankaur near Greater Noida.
(With PTI inputs)