Tagged: Farmers’ protest

Farmers’ protest in Delhi underscores India’s land woes

Reuters | Aug 26, 2010 | 3:28pm IST

Thousands of farmers marched to India’s parliament on Thursday to protest against a government takeover of land to build a new highway, underlining a wider problem of land acquisition in India. The protest follows the death of three farmers in northern Uttar Pradesh state this month, when police fired at protesters demanding more compensation for land taken to build a $2 billion highway connecting the Taj Mahal city of Agra with New Delhi. Underlining the political sensitivity of land issues, Rahul Gandhi, son of ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and a potential prime minister, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday to find a solution to widespread land disputes.

In New Delhi, about 15,000 flag-waving, slogan-shouting farmers squatted at a square near parliament after where police stopped them. Traffic in central Delhi remained gridlocked for hours. “Why is the government putting pressure on us to vacate our land? Land is our mother, We will die but not give our land,” said Vinod, a protesting farmer who gave only one name. These protests are the latest in a string of violence over government efforts to acquire farmland for industry in India, where two-thirds of the 1.2 billion population is dependent on agriculture and where land is a farmer’s only social security.


Farmers’ protests have put on hold 230 tax-free export zones and multi-billion investments by ArcelorMittal, South Korea’s POSCO and Tata Steel, according to government figures. Protests over mining on tribal land in Orissa led this week to the government scrapping plans of UK-based Continue reading