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Gautam Buddha Nagar

Committee finds evidence of illegal sand mining in Gautam Buddha Nagar

A photograph in the report by the committee that inquired into alleged illegal sand mining in Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, showing sand storage and stocks on the way to Kundli village.
A photograph in the report by the committee that inquired into alleged illegal sand mining in Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, showing sand storage and stocks on the way to Kundli village.
 
A three-member constituted by the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has said in its report that it was evident that rampant, unscientific and illegal mining of sand had been going on at various locations in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh along the Yamuna river.
 
In its report submitted to the Ministry today, the committee said this was in  violation of the environmental regulations, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the directions given by the Supreme Court, the High Court of Allahabad and the National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi. 
 
The Ministry had constituted the committee to inquire into the adverse environmental impact of the alleged illegal sand mining in the Gautam Buddha Nagar of Uttar Pradesh widely reported by the media in the past few days.
 
The committee was headed by Dr. Saroj, Director, MoEF and included Mr G.C. Meena, Deputy Collector of Mines, Incharge Dehradun office of IBM, Dehradun and Mr K. K. Garg, Director, Regional Office of MoEF, Lucknow.
 
The committee, along with three mining officials from the Uttar Pradesh government, made visits to various sites in the district to ascertain the factual position of illegal sand mining on August 7 along the rivers Yamuna and Hindon.
 
Among other places, they visited Hindon Bridge near Kisan Chowk, Yamuna Bridge (Zuppa village) on Hamid Pur – Palval Road, Jewar, Mamnathal village (confluence of river Yamuna and Hindon) , Gaddi – Samastipur Village, Kundli Village, Raipur Khadar and Yakutpur.
 
At Hindon Bridge near Kisan Chowk, the committee found that both the banks were covered with full grown grass and it appeared no sand mining had taken place.
 
At Yamuna Bridge (Zuppa village) on Hamid Pur – Palval Road, Jewar, while travelling towards the bridge, they observed that, at various places on both sides of the road scattered heaps of sand were lying. 
 
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Villagers told the committee that sand mining had been carried out in recent times. They also said some of the villagers had lent their farms for storing the sand, which is lifted as and when it is economically viable.
 
On the Yamuna Bridge, scattered heaps of sand were visible along with signs of lifting of the material. The impressions of movement of vehicles were also visible, the report said.
 
At Mamnathal village (confluence of river Yamuna and Hindon), deep excavated areas were noticed along the bank of river Yamuna indicating lifting of sand. 
 
"The path towards the bank had impressions of movement of heavy vehicles. At a distance of about 1 km. there was a small building where a JCB was seen," it said.
 
At Gaddi – Samastipur, the committee saw sand lying on both sides of the path towards the villages. "It was also observed that sand was stored at few places in these villages. At the site of bank of river heaps of sand mine was stored and visible impressions of lifting the sand was noticed. The water was seen just adjacent to these heaps of sand. It was informed by one of the villager that there was no water till late night of 6th August and all of sudden water was pumped in huge quantity," the report said.
 
"Based on the discussions with the villagers and also by visual observations, it appears that excavated area has been filled with water," it said.
 
The committee said that, while approaching Kundli, they noticed that there were lots of sand storage/stocks.
 
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At Yakutpur, they observed that sand mining was evident on the bank of river and heaps of sand was seen in the vicinity of the village.
 
The following is the further course of action suggested by the committee:
 
"(i) As per the directions given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 27th February, 2012 all State Governments need to frame Minor Mineral Concession Rules within a period of six months and submit their compliance report. The recommendation for river bed mining need to be adopted:
 
"The recommendations for river bed mining need to be adopted: 
 
(a) In the case of mining leases for riverbed sand mining, specific river stretches should be identified and mining permits/lease should be granted stretch wise, so that the requisite safeguard measures are duly implemented and are effectively monitored by the respective 
Regulatory Authorities. 
 
(b) The depth of mining may be restricted to 3m/water level, whichever is less. 
 
(c) For carrying out mining in proximity to any bridge and/or embankment, appropriate safety zone should be worked out on case to case basis, taking into account the structural parameters, locational aspects, flow rate etc. and no mining should be carried out in the safety zone so worked out. 
 
(ii) As per Minor Mineral Concession Rules of U.P., the State Govt. is required to grant mine lease area with Khasra Nos. for undertaking mining activities. The mine lease granted should have coordinates identified (Latitude and Longitude). 
 
(iii) The proponent should also prepare a mine plan which should be duly approved by the State Department of Mines & Geology.
 
(iv) As per the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order dated 27th February, 2012, all mine leases irrespective of area should obtain EC as per EIA Notification, 2006.
 
(v) While seeking environmental clearance for carrying out sand mining activity the following should be adopted: 
 
- Prior environmental clearance is mandatory from MoEF/SEIAA irrespective of the mine lease area. 
 
- Need to undertake a study for cumulative impact due to sand mining and adopt cluster approach. ‘Cluster Approach’ to be adopted for collection of baseline data, which shall adequately cover every single Lease Area under consideration before seeking Environmental Clearance. The cumulative impact study should emphasise on pollution 
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load due to transportation, available infrastructure for transportation, details of transportation of mined out materials as per the Indian Road Congress for both the ways (Loaded as well as unloaded trucks) rate of sedimentation etc. 
 
- Need to undertake an annual replenishment study from recognised institution. In case the replenishment is low the mining activity / production levels shall accordingly be decreased / stopped. 
 
- No in-stream mining should be permitted as it affects the aquatic life. 
 
In case the State Government wishes to undertake in-stream mining they need to have a study conducted from recognised Institution to examine the impact of mining of plankton, benthic flora and fauna, turbidity downstream and other related environmental parameters.
 
(vi) Regular monitoring of the mining activity to ensure that effective compliance of stipulated environmental conditions and are abiding to the Minor Mineral Concession Rules of the State Government.
 
(vii) Appropriate Disaster Management safeguards in vIew of the high seismicity of the area."
 
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Environment Ministry sets up committee to inquire into illegal sand mining

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The Union Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has constituted a committee to inquire into the adverse environmental impact of the alleged illegal sand mining in the Gautam Buddha Nagar of Uttar Pradesh widely reported by the media in the past few days.
 
An official press release pointed out that illegal mining had serious environmental and ecological repercussions.
 
It said that, pursuant to the orders of the Supreme Court dated February 27, the the handling of prior environment clearance cases of mining of minor minerals, including sand, of lease area upto 5 hectares (ha), was delegated by the MoEF to the concerned State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAAs).

Former Power Grid Corp. official sent to prison for 7 years in bribery case

The Special Judge, CBI cases, Ghaziabad yesterday convicted Sushil Kumar Gupta, the then Additional General Manager, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh in a bribery case and sentenced him to undergo seven years of rigorous imprisonment with a total fine of Rs. 2 lakh.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation said Gupta had been caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 from a contractor on January 29, 2010 to facilitate him in the smooth running of his vehicles, which were hired by the public sector company.
 
A charge-sheet was filed in this case on June 26, 2010 in the Court of Special Judge, CBI Cases, Ghaziabad. The trial court found the accused guilty of the offence and convicted him.
 
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2 goods train collide at Dadri; fog disrupts normal life in UP

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Two goods train today collided near Dadri station in Gautam Buddha Nagar district due to fog which has thrown rail, road and air traffic out of gear for the past two days in Uttar Pradesh.
 
No one was injured in the incident but four wagons were derailed in the accident. While one goods train was coming out from the NTPC thermal power unit, the other one was a container special.
 
Due to the accident, rail services on the section were affected.
 
Reports of several accidents between vehicles have been received from Hapur, Ghaziabad, Etawah, Agra and Mathura due to fog.
 
Railway officials said almost all the trains in UP were running late due to the foggy weather.
 
Several morning flights at Amausi airport in Lucknow and Babatpur airport in Varanasi have been cancelled.
 
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Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.

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Union Minister Sachin Pilot arrested on way to Bhatta Parsaul


Union Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Sachin Pilot was today arrested when he was proceeding to Bhatta Parsaul in Greater Noida.


He was arrested on apprehension of breach of peace as he was proceeding to adjoining Guatam Buddha Nagar district along with about 300 supporters, Senior Superintedent of Police (SSP) Raghuvir Lal said.


His arrest was made on National Highway 24 near Lalkuan in Kavinagr area of Ghaziabad district.


The Union Minister, however, was released across the UP border in Delhi after about an hour but before that Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was informed of the arrest.


Earlier, Mr Pilot visited Dasna jail where he met farmers in the wake of the May 7 violence in which four people including two policemen were killed and several persons including the district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar were injured after a clash over land acquisition.


Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had staged a protest in the affected village on May 11 and was subsequently arrested by Uttar Pradesh government.


Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and party MP Raj Babbar were also taken into custody on May 11.


Later, Mr Pilot described his arrest as "illegal", saying he had committed no crime but was still arrested by the Mayawati government. He said he was just visiting the affected families.


Demanding a judicial probe into the Bhatta Parsaul incidents, the Minister said the Congress had already launched a sustained agitation in support of the farmers.


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PM announces assistance to farmers injured in Bhatta Parsaul / Acheypur incidents.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced financial assistance to the farmers and members of their families who were injured in the recent incidents at Bhatta Parsaul and Acheypur village areas in Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, near here, where people had resorted to an agitation over the issue of acquisition of their land.


Sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said the seriously injured would receive assistance of Rs 50,000 each and those with minor injuries Rs 10,000 each.


On May 16, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had met Dr Singh along with a delegation of farmers from the affected areas and apprised him of the situation there.


In remarks that have now become the subject of a controversy, Mr Gandhi had told reporters after the meeting that he was "very much concerned" over the situation in the area, where people had been allegedly killed and women raped.


While there have been a lot of newspaper photographs and television footage about the damage caused to houses, vehicles and other property in the area, the UP government has denied the allegations about killing of people and rape of women.


Mr Gandhi had, a few days before that meeting with Dr Singh, spent a day with the farmers after managing to reach there in the wee hours of the morning, evading the tight security.


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Rahul meets PM with UP farmers, says situation bad there

Congress General Secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi with a delegation of farmers from Uttar Pradesh meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on May 16, 2011.
Congress General Secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi with a delegation of farmers from Uttar Pradesh meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on May 16, 2011.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here today along with a delegation of Uttar Pradesh farmers and apprised him of the situation in the Greater Noida village where farmers have resorted to agitation over the issue of acquisition of their land.

After the meeting, Mr Gandhi told reporters that he was "very much concerned" over the developments in the Noida village where people had been "killed" and women "raped:.

"The situation is pretty bad there. People have been killed and women raped. Houses have been burnt," he added.

"The situation is pretty bad there. People have been murdered and women raped. Houses have been destroyed. There is a 70-foot ash-pit there with dead bodies in it. Everybody in the village knows...That is the main issue here," he added.

He said the government was committed to the Land Acquisition Act and hopefully, the Bill would be passed in the next session of Parliament.

He, however, said it was a complicated issue and the main issue here was "atrocities" against the farmers.

"The question is how do we treat our own people. After all they are Indian people and we have to take care of them," he said.

Mr Gandhi, who recently spent a day with the farmers but was arrested by the Mayawati government, said the farmers had expressed their desire to meet the Prime Minister.

"I only facilitated their meeting with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister listened to them very patiently," the Congress General Secretary said.

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Govt to soon bring new land acquisition law: Chidambaram


With unrest continuing in parts of Uttar Pradesh, the Government today said it will soon bring in a new land acquisition law for better compensation and rehabilitation to farmers.


Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told a news conference here that the new legislation would be introduced in Parliament in the next session.


He, however, did not rule out the possibility of an ordinance laying out the new land acquisition rules till then.


Mr Chidambaram said the government had earlier drafted the law but failed to build political consensus on the issue, which is why the bill could not be tabled in Parliament.


"We must have a new land acquisition act. Consensus building has taken some time," he said.


The Home Minister said the government had made some amendments to the land acquisition draft Bill. "I can say with a fair degree of certainty that there is consensus now. It is the government’s intention to introduce that Bill in the next session of Parliament," he said.


On the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, he said it "is not a very happy situation".


His comments came as clashes between police and farmers led by political activists continued today, a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was arrested and then released for staging a sit-in in support of the farmers.


"Many villagers, farmers are protesting on the issue of acquisition of land and compensation. Political parties are espousing the cause of farmers and some lives have been lost, that is distressing," Mr Chidambaram said.


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NHRC to send team to Greater Noida to investigate violence during farmers' agitation


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today said it would depute its investigation team to Greater Noida near here in Uttar Pradesh for an on-the-spot inquiry in the recent violence in Bhatta village and nearby areas during an agitation by farmers about land acquisition and compensation issues.


"The NHRC is pained to see complaints and media reports alleging large scale violence in village Bhatta and other nearby areas in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh leading to loss of life and injuries to several persons, including the officers on the state government's duty," a statement from the Commission said.


"In view of the gravity of the situation, the Commission has decided to depute its investigation team for conducting an on the spot inquiry in the matter. In several complaints received in the Commission, it has been alleged that the police mercilessly lathi-charged the farmers who were demanding more compensation for their land which is being acquired by the state government. Incidents of stone pelting of government officials by the agitating farmers, and the police personnel tresspassing the villagers' houses, outraging women's dignity and burning of crops were alleged. Allegedly, fire was also exchanged between the police and some agitators," the statement added.


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UP police arrests BJP leader Rajnath Singh in Ghaziabad


The Uttar Pradesh police today arrested senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh, who had gone on a 24-hour hunger srike at Ghaziabad, in support of agitating farmers in Bhatta Parsaul village in Greater Noida.


Mr Singh had started his hunger srike at 1100 hrs and was joined by senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and NDA convener and Janata Dal(U) leader Sharad Yadav.


Mr Singh said the farmers plight and "deteriorating" law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh had forced the BJP to launch the hunger strike.


"The farmers in the state are being deprived so that some builders can be benefitted," he added.


Reacting to the arrest of Mr Singh, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was behaving like a dictator.


"In a democracy, if the state government will behave like this, then people will teach her a lesson," Mr Sinha said.


The former finance minister added that it was the responsibility of the political parties to reach out to the affected farmers when they have issues of forcible land acquisition and compensation.


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Preventive arrest: Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh detained in Greater Noida

File photo of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.
File photo of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Congress General Secretaries Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh and Uttar Pradesh Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi were taken into preventive custody tonight by the Uttar Pradesh police from Bhatta Parsaul village in Gautam Buddha Nagar near Delhi.

The Congress MP from Ferozabad, actor-turned politician Raj Babbar, was also among those detained.

They were apprehended under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on apprehension of breach of peace, an official spokesperson said.

The leaders will be kept at the Guest House tonight and produced before the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, the ban order under Sec 144 which was lifted at midnight last night, was reimposed, Inspector General of Police (Meerut Zone) Rajni Kant Mishra said.

Earlier in the day, Mr Gandhi had sneaked into Bhatta-Parsaul village in Greater Noida and sat on a protest along with the villagers agitating against the ongoing land acquisition.

Mr Gandhi, who reached the village on a motorcycle in the early hours without informing the UP government, sat on "dharna" at the village and announced he would remain there till his three demands were conceded by the Uttar Pradesh government.

The demands included a judicial probe into Saturday's violence in which four people, including two policemen, were killed in the village while the District Magistrate (DM) had received bullet injuries, prior permission from the farmers to acquire their land and no action on the farmers involved in the agitation.

Mr Gandhi, incidentally, was the first political leader to reach here after the May 7 violence.

The state government had clamped a ban order under section 144 of IPC and had prevented Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra, Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party leader Shiv Pal Singh Yadav from entering Bhatta-Parsaul since then.

Promptly after the "silent" entry of Mr Gandhi, the district administration of Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) said the ban order had been lifted . "In fact, the section 144 was lifted at 1200 hrs last night," the officiating District Magistrate Sheetal Verma said.

"The Congress is entirely with the farmers and would fight for their cause as the acquistion policy in UP was anti-farmer," Mr Gandhi announced while sitting on dharna.

On May 7, violence had erupted at Bhatta-Parsaul villages in Greater Noida after police used force to free three UP State Road Tranpsort Corporation (UPSRTC) employees, who were held hostage by the villagers, agitated over land acquisition by three authorities of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway.

In the action, two policemen and two villagers were killed in cross firing while the District Magistrate received bullet injuries. Several other officials were also injured in the violence.

However, the state government claimed that criminals were behind the violence and even announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on farmer leader Manveer Singh Tewatiya, who led the agitation for the past four months.

Mr Gandhi, riding pillion on a motorbike, had reached the village after leaving his carcade about four kms away from Bhatta-Parsaul. As the information reached the authorities, they sprung into action but the Congress MP from Amethi ha begun his protest by then.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate(SDM) concerned tried to pacify the Congress leaders, but they refused to pay heed to him saying they just wanted that the government should consider their demands immediately.

Mr Gandhi assured the farmers that he will convey the report about police atrocities on the villagers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said he was shocked at the complaints he received from the villagers, specially the women. Some of them even informed him about their missing family members.

The Uttar Pradesh government reacted sharply to his Noida visit along with other Congress leaders, including Mr Digvijaya Singh.

"This is an effort to incite the farmers, when the situation has become normal," an official government spokesman said.

He also said that the UP government would lodge a protest with the Union government on the sudden visit of a Special Protection Group (SPG) protectee without informing the state government. "This visit is violation of the security norms of a VVIP leader," the sources said.

Ms Joshi, on the other hand, defended the leader's action saying his visit was required at a time when the farmers were subjected to improper treatment at the hands of the state government.

Meanwhile, the UP police was still on a look-out for the farmers' leader Manveer Singh Tewatia and others who were declared "criminals'.

Mr Tewatia had met the Prime Minister last year along with Mr Gandhi and Digvijay Singh over the issue of illegal land acquisition of the farmers' land.

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Rahul sneaks into Bhatta-Parsaul, causes embarrassment to UP govt


Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today sneaked into Bhatta-Parsaul village in Greater Noida and sat on a protest along with the villagers agitating against the ongoing land acquisition.


Mr Gandhi, who reached the village on a motorcycle in the early hours without informing the UP government, sat on "dharna" at the village and announced he would remain there till his three demands were conceded by the Uttar Pradesh government.


The demands included a judicial probe into Saturday's violence in which four people, including two policemen, were killed in the village while the District Magistrate (DM) had received bullet injuries, prior permission from the farmers to acquire their land and no action on the farmers involved in the agitation.


Mr Gandhi, incidentally, was the first political leader to reach here after the May 7 violence.


The state government had clamped a ban order under section 144 of IPC and had prevented Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra, Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party leader Shiv Pal Singh Yadav from entering Bhatta-Parsaul since then.


Promptly after the "silent" entry of Mr Gandhi, the district administration of Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) said the ban order had been lifted . "In fact, the section 144 was lifted at 1200 hrs last night," the officiating District Magistrate Sheetal Verma said.


"The Congress is entirely with the farmers and would fight for their cause as the acquistion policy in UP was anti-farmer," Mr Gandhi announced while sitting on dharna.


On May 7, violence had erupted at Bhatta-Parsaul villages in Greater Noida after police used force to free three UP State Road Tranpsort Corporation (UPSRTC) employees, who were held hostage by the villagers, agitated over land acquisition by three authorities of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway.


In the action, two policemen and two villagers were killed in cross firing while the District Magistrate received bullet injuries. Several other officials were also injured in the violence.


However, the state government claimed that criminals were behind the violence and even announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on farmer leader Manveer Singh Tewatiya, who led the agitation for the past four months.


Mr Gandhi, riding pillion on a motorbike, had reached the village after leaving his carcade about four kms away from Bhatta-Parsaul. As the information reached the authorities, they sprung into action but the Congress MP from Amethi ha begun his protest by then.


The Sub-Divisional Magistrate(SDM) concerned tried to pacify the Congress leaders, but they refused to pay heed to him saying they just wanted that the government should consider their demands immediately.


Mr Gandhi assured the farmers that he will convey the report about police atrocities on the villagers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


He said he was shocked at the complaints he received from the villagers, specially the women. Some of them even informed him about their missing family members.


The Uttar Pradesh government reacted sharply on his Noida visit along with other Congress leaders, including party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh.


"This is an effort to incite the farmers, when the situation has become normal," an official government spokesman said.


He also said that the UP government would lodge a protest with the Union government on the sudden visit of a Special Protection Group (SPG) protectee without informing the state government. "This visit is violation of the security norms of a VVIP leader," the sources said.


Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President Rita Bahuguna Joshi, on the other hand, defended the leader's action saying his visit was required at a time when the farmers were subjected to improper treatment at the hands of the state government.


Meanwhile, the UP police was still on a look-out for the farmers' leader Manveer Singh Tewatia and others who were declared "criminals'.


Mr Tewatia had met the Prime Minister last year along with Mr Gandhi and Digvijay Singh over the issue of illegal land acquisition of the farmers' land.


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Ajit Singh meets PM, demands probe into Maya's land acquisition


Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the unrest over acquisition of land in Greater Noida, an issue on which the Opposition Samajwadi party, the BJP, the Congress and RLD have found a common cause against the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.


The RLD leader's meeting with the Prime Minister comes amid indications that the party may go in for a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress for the 2012 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.


Mr Singh along with the SP, BJP and Congress leaders has targeted Ms Mayawati for the use of force to crush the agitation over land acquisition for the Yamuna Expressway.


Clashes between the agitators and the police have left four dead so far. The expressway is being built between Noida, near here, and Agra.


During his meeting with the Prime Minister, the RLD chief urged him to see that the Land Acquisition Bill was passed at the earliest.


He also demanded that an inquiry should be held in the firing on workers and also into the way the land was being acquired. Besides, the RLD pressed that the farmers should have the right to sell their land directly, and the Government should not play the role of a middleman in this matter.


Mr Singh had last week hinted at an alliance or seat adjustment with the Congress in the coming Assembly elections.


He had told reporters in Lucknow that his party had held talks with Congress leaders and will continue attempts for a pact to ensure departure of the Mayawati government. He had, however, ruled out possibilities of any pact with the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party.


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UP farmers' agitation spreads to new cities


The farmers' agitation in Greater Noida of Uttar Pradesh, on the issue of agricultural land being acquired for an expressway and other projects, has spread to Agra and Aligarh in the state.


The death toll in yesterday's violence in Greater Noida has gone upto four today with a farmer succumbing to his injuries at a hospital.


The state police, which had blamed absconding farmers' leader Manveer Singh Tibatiya for yesterday's incident, has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for information about his whereabouts.


A report from Agra said that villagers fought a pitched battle with the police near Chogana Garhi village under Etmadpur police station on the Yamuna Expressway this morning. Three policemen were injured in the clash.


The protestors torched JCB machines and tents of a private company J P Infratech. Additional police forces have been rushed to the spot to control the situation.


In Aligarh, farmers staged a demonstration near Tappal village against the police atrocities in Noida. The protestors blocked the highway and raised anti-government slogans.


Meanwhile, state special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal, who is camping at Noida since last night, told UNI on telephone that the situation in Noida and Agra was under control.


He said prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been promulgated in Noida, Agra and other places of the state where farmers have started their agitation.


Police teams have been dispatched to several places to locate Mr Tibatiya, Mr Lal said.


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UP govt. announces reward of Rs 50,000 on Tewatia's arrest


The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 thousand for Manveer Singh Tewatia, the absconding leader of a farmers' agitation in Greater Noida which exploded yesterday in violence that claimed three lives.


According to senior superintendent of police Suryanath Singh, the state government has announced this reward regarding his arrest.


The agitation, that was simmering since January, exploded into full-blown violence in Greater Noida yesterday. Agitating farmers took three government employees hostage and then engaged the police who came to their rescue in a gunbattle that left two constables and a farmer dead and several injured.


Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Deepak Aggarwal received a bullet on his right knee while Mr Suryanath Singh was also injured in the clash at Bhatta-Parsaul.


The trouble started on Friday when the farmers -- demanding greater compensation for land being acquired for a toll road and other projects -- took three workers of a state-run bus service hostage.


When the police reached Bhatta to rescue the hostages, they were greeted with lathis, rods, stones and bullets.


State Director General of Police Karamveer Singh alleged that Mr Tewatia incited the farmers to resort to agitation and violence. He said Mr Tewatia beat a hasty retreat from the village following


police action. "He is reported to have fled the village in his vehicle," Mr Singh said.


A search operation is on to nab him, police sources added.


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2 PAC jawans, 1 farmer killed in clash at Noida: DM hurt


Three state transport officials held hostage by agitating farmers were rescued today after a clash with police in which two Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) jawans and a farmer were killed and ten people were hurt at Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, official sources said.


Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal was admitted to hospital after he was hit in the leg by a bullet.


The farmers of Bhatta Parsaul village in western Uttar Pradesh were demanding higher compensation for land being acquired for the Delhi-Agra Expressway. They alleged that the government acquires land at cheap rates and sells them to private builders at high prices.


They took officials of State Transport Corporation hostage during the protest, sources said. When the police tried to rescue the hostages, the farmers turned violent.


Police resorted to a cane-charge to control the situation. However, the farmers started firing in retaliation in which the District Magistrate, along with City Magistrate Sanjay Chauhan, Senior Superintendent of Police Surya Nath Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rahul Kumar and SHO Dankaur Rajeev Kumar, was injured.


All the injured were admitted to Kailash hospital. The managing director of the hospital, Dr Mahesh Verma, said the two PAC jawans, Manohar Singh and Manveer Singh, were brought in a serious condition to the hospital and died during the treatment.


Farmers said two agitators were killed. The toll was likely to rise.


The District Magistrate was also admitted to Kailash hospital where his leg was being operated upon.


The State transport officials identified as DK Bhardwaj, Niranjan Das and Jitendra Kumar held hostage by the agitators have been freed, sources said.


Additional forces have been deployed near Bhatta Parsaul village to keep the situation under control.


The farmers under the leadership of Manveer Singh Tibitya have been agitating for compensation since January. In Lucknow, the state government blamed him for the deaths.


State Director General of Police Karamveer Singh said that Tibitiya was "behind the incident and he along with his gang of 100 youths, armed with firearms, had attacked the police party who went to free the three UP State Road Transport Corporation(UPSRTC) employees kidnapped by the farmers yesterday."


"There was no particular demand of the farmers, who were agitating under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti for the last three months but Tibitiya was not interested in the solution," he told mediapersons.


The DGP said that it seems Tibitiya had some vested political interest on the issue and had led agitations at various places in Aligarh, Mathura and Bulandshahr in the past.


"Tibitiya has fled from the village after the incident and police is in search of him along with his supporters," Mr Singh said.


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Two PAC jawans killed in clash with farmers in Noida: DM hit


State transport officials held hostage by farmers were rescued today after a clash with police in whic two Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) jawans were killed and ten people were injured at Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, official sources said.


Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal was admitted to hospital after he was hit in the leg by a bullet.


The farmers of Bhatta Parsaul village in western Uttar Pradesh were demanding higher compensation for land being acquired for the Delhi-Agra Expressway. They alleged that the government acquires land at cheap rates and sells them to private builders at high prices.


They took officials of State Transport Corporation hostage during the protest, sources said. When the police tried to rescue the hostages, the farmers turned violent.


Police resorted to a cane charge to control the situation. However, the farmers started firing in retaliation in which the District Magistrate, along with City Magistrate Sanjay Chauhan, Senior Superintendent of Police Surya Nath Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rahul Kumar and SHO Dankaur Rajeev Kumar, was injured.


All the injured were admitted to Kailash hospital.


The managing director of the hospital, Dr Mahesh Verma, said the two PAC jawans Manohar Singh and Manveer Singh were brought in a serious condition to the hospital and died during the treatment.


The District Magistrate was also admitted to Kailash hospital where his leg was being operated upon.


The State transport officials identified as D K Bhardwaj, Niranjan Das and Jitendra Kumar held hostage by the agitators have been freed, sources said.


Additional forces have been deployed near Bhatta Parsaul village to keep the situation under control.


The farmers under the leadership of Manveer Singh have been agitating for compensation since January.


NNN

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