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Buxar Farmers, Cops Clash After Midnight Raid Over Land Acquisition

The protesters shouted slogans against the state government, burnt tyres and set a police vehicle ablaze.
Buxar Farmers, Cops Clash After Midnight Raid Over Land Acquisition

Image Courtesy: NDTV

Patna: Angry over the police’s alleged midnight action against some sleeping farmers who were part of the 86-day protest against forcible land acquisition for a power plant, hundreds of farmers clashed with cops in Bihar’s Buxar district on Wednesday.

The protesters clashed with police near the main gate of the government-owned Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam’s (SJVN) 1,320 MW coal power plant, which is being constructed at the cost of Rs 11,000 crore, in Chausa block.

They shouted slogans against the state government, burnt tyres and blocked roads for more than two hours. Later, farmers carrying bamboo sticks pelted stones at the police and set a police vehicle ablaze. The police opened fire and used tear gas to disperse them.

The protesters demanded adequate compensation for land acquisition and action against police personnel who brutally beat up farmers after entering their homes late Tuesday night. Heavy security was deployed near the plant to avoid further violence.

According to reports, a police team raided the homes of some farmers in Banarpur village, under the Muffasil Police Station, while they were asleep, thrashed some of them and misbehaved with women. Four farmers who had actively participated in the protest were detained.

A video clip of the police high-handedness against the farmers went viral on social media early Wednesday, triggering the protest.

A farmer of the village requesting anonymity told Newsclick that the families were “shocked after they police knocked on their doors and mercilessly assaulted them for participating in ongoing protest”.

The police action came after the protesting farmers locked the main gate of the power plant’s office on Tuesday and demanded adequate compensation for the forcible acquisition of their land. It appears that the district administration used the police to terrorise the protesting farmers,” the farmer alleged.

The police action was intended to suppress the voice of the farmers and create terror to end their nearly two-month-long protest. But farmers will not be silent. We will intensify the protest against the forcible land acquisition,” Shivjee Yadav, one of the protesting farmers, told Newsclick.

Like others, Yadav added, “farmers too have the constitutional right to stage peaceful protest. Farmers are not criminals and not creating terror by demanding compensation. The police action has exposed their anti-people face and violated human rights”.

Another protester Daya Shankar Singh said that the “police brutality angered farmers in dozens of villages and they joined the protest on Wednesday to express their support and solidarity”.

According to Yadav and Singh, the farmers were demanding a revised rate for the land acquisition. They claimed that SJVN had compensated some of them at old rates decided 12 years ago when the land was acquired.

According to the energy department’s website, SJVN, the Himachal Pradesh government and the Centre are constructing the plant, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 9, 2019. The construction is supposed to be completed by next year.

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