A day after farmers in Ghogha taluka of Bhavnagar clashed with police in a bid to prevent possession of the acquired land by a state government-owned company from developing a lignite mine, state Congress leadership met the protesting farmers on Monday and extended support to their agitation.
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Paresh Dhanani and senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil met the protesting farmers at Badi village of Ghogha taluka, and assured their “support in the resistance against Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) trying to start mining of lignite from their villages”. “I assure that every leader of Congress is with you in your fight against this project,” Chavda told them, adding Congress president Rahul Gandhi had asked state Congress leaders to extend support to the protest.
Congress MLAs Pravin Maru (Gadhda), Kanu Baraiya (Talaja) and former MLA from Palitana, Pravin Rathod, were also at the meet. On Sunday, police had lobbed tear-gas shells, resorted to lathicharge and detained 51 protesting farmers to ensure that contractors could start mining activity. The GPCL had acquired 1,414 hectares between 1997 and 2005 in 12 villages of Ghogha and Bhavnagar talukas.
Meanwhile, protesting farmers said that they will stop sending their children to school as a mark of protest. “We shall seek school leaving certificates of our children as there is no point in educating them. It seems, nobody listens to us in this country and therefore, there is no point in protesting. If our children get education, they might protest against injustice. But we shall keep them illiterate so that they become slave and won’t protest,” said Kanaksinh Gohil, one of the protesting farmers.