Violence broke out in the Kulasera village of Greater Noida on Monday morning after residents, who were protesting against an p along the Hindon floodplains, took to stone pelting, set fire to vehicles and attacked a police chowki nearby. Senior police officers said at least two buses and a dozen motorcycles were damaged in the violence.
Officials of the Greater Noida Authority said the anti-encroachment drive began in the presence of police personnel. “The procedure is that we inform police about the drive and some personnel are deputed for it. The drive started at 7.30 am and we cleared illegal constructions on the floodplains spanning 500 square yards. Any construction on village panchayat land requires permission from the Greater Noida Authority. We cannot give permission on this land because it is on the floodplain of Hindon river,” Manvendra Singh, additional CEO of the Greater Noida Authority, said.
Police officers said violence broke out around 9.30 am after an argument between residents and Authority officials. “It sparked a chain of violence that lasted for nearly an hour and a half. Additional forces had to be brought in to quell the violence. There was stone-pelting, two buses on the Surajpur road were burnt. Close to a dozen bikes were set ablaze outside the Kulasera chowki, which was vandalised. We believe that these were not residents of homes that were demolished, but villagers from Kulasera who went on a planned rampage to prevent further demolition of illegal houses,” an officer said.
Brijesh Kumar Singh, Superintendent of Police (Rural), said, “We have registered a case of arson, rioting and obstructing officials in the line of duty. There are close to 200 unnamed accused and 80 who have been named in the FIR. We have arrested 16 people so far.”