Residents of a Greater Noida village adopted by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma have put up a signboard at the entry, saying BJP members are not allowed inside. The board was installed on Sunday after officials from the local administration and employees of a realty group allegedly destroyed standing crops of farmers.
Tejinder Nagar (35), a farmer and resident of Kachera village in Badalpur, alleged, “Five days ago, we all woke up to around 25-30 excavators destroying crops we had sown six months ago. A force of around 100 policemen had made a perimeter around the tractors so that no villager could disrupt the work. When we asked questions, we were greeted with lathis.”
Circle Officer (Greater Noida 3) Nishank Sharma said around 84 villagers, including the pradhan, were arrested following law and order problems. “We have deployed extra police force in the area,” he said.
The standoff is part of a long-standing dispute between farmers and the realty group, which purchased the land in 2005-06. According to villagers, no development activities were carried out by the company and they continued farming. On Sunday, officials reclaimed the land and, villagers alleged, damaged crops worth lakhs. They also claimed no prior notice issued.
Residents also claimed they tried to contact MP Sharma to resolve the situation. “His phone is switched off and he is not responding to urgent letters. Out of desperation and anger, we have installed this signboard, which clearly states that no member of the ruling party is allowed here. Sharma adopted this village only for namesake,” claimed Ranveer Singh (62), adding that he was hit during the lathicharge.
Sharma, however, dismissed the anti-BJP signboard as a political move by the opposition. “I know my village very well; this is the work of a single individual who is politically motivated. A politician from SP was detained… I have been out of the state for a couple of days. I am with the farmers and will resolve all their issues in due time.”
Officials from the local administration said the land was sold to the group legally, and there was no dispute. “Many villagers willingly sold their land to make way for the housing project, and received compensation. The land belongs to the authorities. We have been in conversation with the village administration for the past three months and they were given intimation. We are looking to resolve the situation through peaceful means,” said sub-divisional magistrate Anjani Kumar Singh.
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