Govt. acquired their lands for Bharathiar University

Farmers whose lands the State Government acquired way back in 1982 for the establishment of Bharathiar University staged a protest at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Monday. Their grievance: disbursement of adequate compensation.

Member of Parliament, Coimbatore, P.R. Natarajan, who led the protest, said that after the Government took over 994 acres from over 1,200 farmers, it had not given adequate compensation. In 1982, the Government paid between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 5,000 an acre to the 400 families, who did not accept the same.

Court order

The officials then asked the farmers to take the compensation but file a case in court if they were not happy with the quantum of money given.

Accordingly, the farmers moved the Coimbatore Sessions Court in 1983, which, sometime in 2007, ordered the Government to pay an enhanced compensation with interest.

The amount worked to around Rs. 1,200 crore.

Since the award of the verdict, the Government had done nothing, but keep offering promises that the farmers would soon be compensated.

The affected persons, who now number around 1,200, had in the meanwhile staged protests and held demonstrations to no avail, Mr. Natarajan said and wanted the administration to initiate steps to compensate the farmers.

Condemned

V.P. Elangovan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayeegal Sangam, said that the affected persons were left with no other choice but to stage a protest.

At the Collectorate, Mr. Natarajan addressed the farmers and joined them in condemning the State Government.

The city police removed Mr. Natarajan and 171 others from the venue.

They were later released in the evening.

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