Sunday, June 17, 2012

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Indian Farmer loses life at BJP office during agitation


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15 June: Farmer Kartar Singh, a senior citizen, from Bhora kalaan, Muzaffar Nagar, became a martyr during the agitation by farmers of Bhartiya Kisan Union today at BJP office. Police personnel were present in large numbers. Ironically water cannons were already deployed, but there were no water tanks for people to drink water. Kartar Singh lost his life due to non-availability of water in the scorching sun and an untoward scuffle with policemen. More than 50 thousand farmers had assembled at Jantar Mantar road early this morning. The farmers demonstrated their solidarity with their brethren of Annupur district, Madhya Pradesh, who have been jailed for protesting against forcible land acquisition. Hordes of farmers have reached from far and wide places like Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. They are demanding immediate release of arrested farmers by the Shhivraj Singh Chauhan led Bhartiya Janta Party state govt of Madhya Pradesh, and also a fair compensation for their land, after following due procedures of land acquisition. 

The farmers will continue to stay put at the BJP office at Ashoka road in Delhi.

Background:Forcible Land Acquisition by BJP Madhya Pradesh state govt
In the hinterland of Madhya Pradesh is a lesser known Annupur district with over one third forest area. The sparsely populated district has 6 lakh natives where more than 3 lakh are Scheduled tribes and over 4 lakh are Scheduled castes. The nation is as oblivious to existence of Annupur as to the struggle of its farmers. 
 
Farmers here were aghast when their standing crop was destroyed by state administration of Madhya Pradesh and the land awarded to Moser Baer Projects Thermal Power plant in 2010 in a gross violation of the current LARR (Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.) 
 
Farmers had refused to part with their lands at the states measly offering. The state has also not sought any prior clearance from Environment Ministry. The land acquisition of fertile cultivable forest land for a coal based thermal power plant violates norms of EPA (Environment Protection Act), FRA (Forest Rights Act) or PESA (Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act). Farmer’s land was forcibly acquired regardless of their dissent ongoing since 2010. Meanwhile Moser Baers Project’s construction is nearing 60% completion.

Farmers from Bharitya Kisan Union led a peaceful demonstration on 5th May, 2012. The state police lathi charged the defenceless farmers and slapped criminal charges on them like IPC section 307 (Attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with weapons), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly). Charges were framed also against Rakesh Tikait, head of Bhartiya Kisan Union, who wasn’t even present at the 5th May demonstration. BKU planned for another agitation against the malicious indictment of farmers on 30th May. When Rakesh Tikait and hundreds of others reached Annupur by railways, they were arrested from the station in Annupur. Rakesh Tikait and hundreds of other innocent farmers are still in various jails in Annupur. While BJP led Madhya Pradesh state govt is impervious to all demands of farmers.

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