More than 50 farmers were detained on Sunday in Gujarat as they protested against a government company taking over 3,000 acres of land in Bhavnagar district for a proposed brown coal plant. Ten farmers also suffered injuries as the police fired tear gas shells to control the crowd, reported DNA.
The incident took place at Baandi village where scores of people gathered. The state administration had deployed 700 police personnel. “[The] police had to charge batons and use tear gas shells to control the crowd,” Superintendent of Police Pravin Mal told DNA.
The farmers claimed they were protesting peacefully. “As we carried out a peaceful protest march against the company’s move to take possession of our land, a large number of policemen were deployed to prevent us,” Narendrasinh Gohil, a member of cultivators’ outfit Gujarat Khedut Samaj, told PTI.
The Gujarat Power Corporation Limited had acquired the land from around 1,200 farmers across 12 villages in Bhavnagar about 20 years ago. The company is now seeking possession.
The farmers have demanded that the company initiates fresh proceedings to acquire the plot as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. According to the law, an agency has to initiate a new procedure to acquire land if it did not take its possession for more than five years.
Earlier, the farmers had filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court also. “The high court has completed the hearing but not passed the order, as the Supreme Court recently asked courts not to pass an order until inconsistent judgements in the matter are settled by its constitutional bench,” their lawyer Anand Yagnik told PTI.