Noida land acquisition protest: Farmers launch indefinite fast

Claiming that the authorities have not shown any seriousness towards resolving their issues, several farmers who have been protesting outside the Noida Authority office, have decided to escalate their protest by launching an indefinite fast

After over two weeks of sit-in demonstrations, some farmers in Noida have launched an indefinite fast to press for their demands, including enhanced compensation in lieu of their land acquired by the Noida Authority over the years. Scores of farmers, under the banner of ‘Kisan Astitva Bachao Andolan’, have been protesting outside the authority office in Sector 6, since February 12, 2019. Some farmers launched the indefinite fast on February 25, 2019. “They have not shown any seriousness towards resolving our issues. The ethics have died. That is why we resorted to indefinite strike,” Sukhveer Singh, convenor of the Andolan, said.

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Eight farmers, including Singh, are on the indefinite fast. Singh said throughout February 26, there had been no communication between the protestors and the officials over the issue. “It has already been 36 hours and we are outside the Authority office. There has been no correspondence of any kind. They don’t care about our issues,” he claimed.

The farmers are demanding residential plots of 10 per cent the size of the total land that was acquired from them by the Authority after 2002. They are also demanding an increased monetary compensation for the acquired land. Among other demands, the protestors, including those from Behlolpur, Sarfabad, Hoshiarpur and other villages of Noida, want a college and a play field to be developed in Sector 123.


Farmers continue protest for 10th day outside Noida Authority office

Scores of farmers continued their protest for consecutive 10 days, demanding compensation in lieu of their land acquired by the Noida Authority over the years

February 22, 2019: Hundreds of farmers, including women, have been squatting outside the Noida Authority’s office in Sector 6 for the 10th consecutive day, over compensation given them, in lieu of their land. The farmers had, so far, denied any talks with the officials ‘inside the office’. On February 21, 2019, a delegation of the protestors, under the banner of ‘Kisan Astitva Bachao Andolan’, convened by Sukhveer Singh, went for talks with the Authority and administration officials, which failed to find a way ahead.

“They are not ready to listen to any of our demands in the correct way. They are dilly-dallying, making vague statements, like this is not our responsibility,” he told protestors after the meeting. “They are harassing the farmers by delaying solution for our problems,” Singh added.

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However, the Authority said the meeting ended on a ‘positive note’ and added that along with the district administration, it has been persuading the farmers since day one for talks. “It was only today that they agreed to enter the office for a talk, where the Noida Authority chairman and CEO (Alok Tandon) deliberated on their demands. He suggested a solution to issues that were concerned with the Noida Authority and requested that other issues be taken up with the district administration,” officer on special duty, Noida Authority, Rajesh Kumar Singh said. “The talks concluded on a positive note,” he said in a statement.

When asked about the situation, Noida city magistrate Shailendra Kumar Mishra, who was present in the meeting, dodged any clear response, saying it was a matter for the Authority to deal with. After the demonstration, which has been taking place from morning till evening, since February 12, 2019, culminated for the day, the farmers vowed to continue their protest. “We have to keep this protest going, to achieve our objective. We have to remain within the boundaries of the law and demand our rights in a democratic manner,” Singh said.


Farmers protest outside Noida Authority office, over compensation for land acquisition

Hundreds of farmers staged a protest outside the Noida Authority office, threatening to lock down the building over their demands related to land compensation

February 19, 2019: Hundreds of farmers, under the banner of ‘Kisan Astitva Bachao Andolan’, gathered outside the Noida Authority’s office in Sector, on February 18, 2019, in the morning, where they have been staging demonstrations since February 11, 2019. “We are protesting the wrong done by the Noida Authority over the years, over compensation given to farmers in lieu of their land,” said Sukhveer Singh, who led the protest.

City magistrate Shailendra Kumar Mishra, superintendent of police (city) Sudha Singh and Noida Authority’s officer on special duty Rajesh Kumar Singh, had reached the protest spot, in a bid to pacify the farmers. The protest was called off later in the afternoon, with the farmers warning a return on February 19, to get their concerns answered, said Sukhveer Singh, the convenor of the protest. Officials at the Noida Authority said they reached out to the protestors and offered to talk to them through the situation but they declined to come inside the office for any talks.

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“They want officials to come out and resolve the issue among the crowd, which is not practical. We will tomorrow, again reach out to them. The Noida Authority is sensitive towards their demands and wants their demands to be resolved. However, talks could be done only with a delegation or with their leadership,” OSD Rajesh Kumar Singh said.

Sukhveer Singh, later in the day, said the farmers do not want to talk to officials inside the office and want the issue to be resolved ‘in front of the public’. “That is why we will not accept any offer for talks inside the office. We want it to be transparent. They (Noida Authority) have in the past also fooled us with such offers,” he said. Meanwhile, some farmers, including those from Sarfabad, Bakthyarpur and Chhijarsi, were charged by the police under Section 144 of the CrPC, over carrying out a motorcycle rally on February 17 and disturbing the law and order.

“We carried out a rally to raise awareness among the people about our issue. What else can we do, when no one is listening to us?” Sukhveer Singh, who was one of those charged under Section 144, said.

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