Agitators to stage indefinite dharna outside mini secretariat

The agitating farmers of Gorakhpur-Kumharia village of Haryana have decided to stage an indefinite dharna outside the mini secretariat at Fatehabad, over 300 km from here, to protest against the acquisition of over 1,400 acres by the government for a nuclear power plant there.

“We are not against technology; we just don't want it to be at the cost of farmers. We will convey this to the Prime Minister, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi,” said Hans Raj, president of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti spearheading the stir.

Speaking to The Hindu over phone from Fatehabad, he said: “We have already handed over a memorandum of our demands to the Deputy Commissioner and addressed it to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.”

Apart from a section of farmers not ready to part with their land at any cost, there are many whose objection is to the price being offered. “In the proposed power plant, over 500 acres of land which is ‘most fertile' and fetches over Rs. 20 lakh per acre in market but the government rate is Rs. 11.65 lakh per acre which is unfair. The land must be bought at a fair price,” said another farmer.

Fatehabad MP Ashok Tanwar on Monday assured a group of farmers that they would be given adequate compensation for their land if they register their complaints.

Krishan Swaroop Gorakpuria, State vice president of the All India Kisan Sabha said there were many villagers ready to sell land but wanted a better deal.

“There is only one important demand — land should be compensated by providing land and employment. No matter how much money is given, it will vanish after a generation.”