Farmers' protest at DND flyway ends

(Eds: Updates with end of protest) Noida (UP), Feb 2 (PTI) Hundreds of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, who were protesting near the DND flyway for enhanced compensation in lieu of their land acquired before 2013, ended their sit-in on Saturday after authorities assured them in writing their demand would be looked into.The Delhi-Noida-Direct flyway, a crucial route connecting UP and Delhi, was shut briefly on Friday evening as farmers from western UP districts protested there, throwing traffic movement out of gear.The farmers, numbering around 500 from Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Aligarh and Meerut, had stayed put until Saturday afternoon.Many of them were women from villages with their heads covered. The women had their hands raised and tied with a piece of cloth in a symbolic gesture expressing helplessness."The protest got over around 2.30pm and farmers have vacated the spot," Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna told PTI."They agreed to leave after they got an assurance in writing from the district magistrate. They have been assured of a meeting in a week with local authorities like Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) over their grievances," he said.The situation at DND is now normal and there is no obstruction to traffic movement.Earlier Saturday, the farmers and their leader, Manveer Teotia, had declined talking to City Magistrate Shailendra Mishra and Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Anil Kumar Jha.Teotia said farmers in Tappal, Mathura and Aligarh have been protesting for two years over "irregularities" in land acquisition between 2008 and 2012 but the state government has "not listened" to their requests."We are here to demand that we be given compensation in accordance with the law on land acquisition that was passed in Parliament in 2013. Our lands were acquired prior to that and we have been left out from the benefits as doled out under the new law," Kaale Singh from Bhatta Parsaul village of Gautam Buddh Nagar told PTI.He said the farmers want local authorities and administrations to take up the matter with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, but nothing fruitful has happened so far, hence the protest."Yesterday we tried to go to Delhi but were stopped midway, so we decided to stay put near the DND. We won't budge unless we get a satisfactory response from top officials," he said.Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate B N Singh met the farmers Saturday morning and assured them he would take up the matter with the state government. But Kaale Singh said the "protestors remained dissatisfied with the assurance".Two policemen and two farmers were killed in clashes in May 2011 following protests over acquisition of land in Greater Noida's Bhatta Parsaul, the Jat-dominated village which had become the epicentre of protests of land acquisitions in the country.Two years since that upheaval, the country had got the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (also Land Acquisition Act, 2013).The new law was aimed at providing fair compensation to those whose land is taken away, brings transparency to the process of acquisition of land to set up factories or buildings, infrastructure projects and assures rehabilitation of those affected. PTI KIS ABHABH