The Congress on Sunday upped the ante against Mayawati-led BSP government in Uttar Pradesh with Minister of State for Communications and I.T. Sachin Pilot visiting the farmers of Bhatta-Parsual who are lodged in Dasna jail in Ghaziabad district. Mr. Pilot, who accused the U.P. government of terrorising farmers who are seeking compensation for their acquired land, was arrested when he tried to proceed towards the violence-hit villages.
“The situation is very grim...at least 22 villagers with no criminal records have been booked under serious charges, including murder, while no proper legal recourse is being provided to them by the government. These villagers that include a 70-year-old man are worried about the wellbeing of their family members who are being terrorised by the police. Villagers of Bhatta and Parsual are in deep distress...I will apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi about it,” Mr. Pilot told The Hindu.
Mr. Pilot, who belongs to the western U.P., charged the State government with concealing facts as villagers were alleging more deaths in police firing. “State government cannot conduct fair investigation...only judicial inquiry can unearth the whole truth behind the May 7 police firing incident in which innocent villagers were killed. The State government should take the views of NCW and NHRC seriously,” he said.
The Minister also criticised Chief Minister Mayawati for not providing compensation and relief to farmers of Bhatta-Parsual. “And if the Prime Minister announces financial relief for villagers, she takes offence to it. What kind of democratic ethos are these?” he wondered.
After his visit to Dasna jail on National Highway-24, Mr. Pilot tried to move to the two villages but was stopped by the the police.
He sat on a dharna and insisted on visiting the violence-hit villages. He was then arrested under section 151 Cr.PC (to prevent commission of cognisable offences) and taken to the police lines. Senior police officials later brought him to his official residence in the capital.