Azamgarh Airport Expansion: Protesters Detained, March Stopped in Varanasi
As the protest against the land acquisition for the Azamgarh Airport project completed 73 days, the Jai Kisan Andolan called the action taken against the protesters “repressive”.
Jai Kisan Andolan is an all-India farmers’ and farmworkers’ organisation. It has been supporting the permanent dharna at Khiriya Ki Bagh in Azamgarh against the land acquisition – set to affect a number of villages and displace thousands from Azamgarh.
A statement released by the Andolan on Saturday claimed that some of the protesters – participating in a march under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha – were detained by the UP Police in Varanasi. They were stopped from marching to Khiriya Ka Bagh to support the protest against the land acquisition. It said that many leaders were dropped off in Lucknow.
The statement also alleges that some of the leaders of the movement were abducted by people who claimed to be from the ATS. They were reportedly released later.
NewsClick had reported earlier that the proposal to expand the Azamgarh airstrip to an international airport under the UDAN scheme will displace about 10,000 people from around 600 acres of land covering nine villages, including Hasanpur, Kadipur Harikesh, Jamua Hariram, Jamua Jolha, Gadanpur Chindan Patti, Manduri, Jigina Karampur and Jehra Pipri. This land in question includes vast stretches of fertile farmland.
Read the full statement below:
Jai Kisan Andolan condemns the repressive action against the farmers and activists protesting against the land acquisition under Azamgarh Airport project
Jai Kisan Andolan condemns the repressive action against the farmers and activists protesting against the Azamgarh Airport project. The farmers and local citizens have been protesting against the land acquisition project which affects eight villages and nearly 25,000 people of Azamgarh. A permanent dharna, organized against the land acquisition, at Khiriya Ki Bagh in Azamgarh has entered its seventy-third day today.
Today, several farmers and activists, under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, organized a padyatra from Varanasi to Khiriya Ka Bagh to support the protest. However, they were soon detained by the UP Police in Varanasi, and were refused to hold the peaceful padyatra. Several leaders were dropped off at Lucknow.
One of the leaders of the Azamgarh movement, Rajeev Yadav and his brother Vinod Yadav, were abducted by unknown people when they were leaving for Azamgarh. According to Pintu and Pravesh, who were driving along with Rajeev, these people arrived in a Sumo which had no number plate. They claimed themselves as ATS, though they had no uniform. The two brothers were manhandled and taken awayin the vehicle. After, a huge outcry they were released at 7 PM.
Jai Kisan Andolan condemns this attack on the citizens right to protest, and the model of development that brings destruction to the farmers and the local community.
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