As many as 46 farmers in Old Diva village in Ankleshwar taluka were detained by police, after they protested and obstructed the work of officials carrying out land acquisition process for Vadodara-Mumbai express highway. The officials later took possession of around 50 acres of land owned by 35 farmers, damaging their standing crops.
According to police, over 100 villagers from Old Diva opposed the compensation deal and protested, following which 46 of them were detained. The officials went on with work and the farmers were released by evening, they said.
Officials from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and land acquisition officials of Bharuch had till date acquired land from 26 villages by providing compensation amount twice the 2011 Jantri rates.
Old Diva villagers were only ones who were objecting demanding four times the market value of the land, officials said.
Bharuch land acquisition officer Ramesh Bhagora said, “The work of Vadodara-Mumbai express highway project is in progress and out of 27 villages where it passes through, we have acquired land from 26 after the farmers agreed on the detal on April 1, 2018. The Old Diva villagers were objecting demanding more… The work was pending for long, so we have acquired around 50 acres of farming land in the village today where fencing work is in progress.”
Nipul Patel, president of Khedut Samaj Gujarat, Bharuch unit, said, “We requested the officials to allow us to take the crop and give us some time but they denied and forcefully took the land. This is unethical and we will carry out agitation in the coming days. Thirty five farmers have faced loss of crores of rupees after the officials damaged their standing crop.”
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