Vehicles torched outside godown of UP agency that acquired land for township

Unnao (UP), Nov 17 (PTI) Plastic pipes and vehicles outside a state infrastructure agency godown were set ablaze in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district on Sunday, a day after farmers clashed with the police demanding adequate compensation for their land acquired for an upcoming township.

The incident occurred around 11 am outside the godown of the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA), which acquired the land for the Trans-Ganga City project near Kanpur, officials said.

'Some anti-social elements had set fire to plastic pipes kept outside the godown. Apart from this, two vehicles were also set afire,' Additional District Magistrate Rakesh Singh said.

The fire has been controlled to a significant extent and there has been no loss of life, Singh said. 'Action will be initiated against those who had set the portion of the godown on fire.' 'No farmer has so far claimed responsibility for Sunday's act, which means that the work has been done by anti-social elements,' District Magistrate Devendra Kumar Pandey said.

On Saturday, farmers demanding better compensation for their land clashed with the police when government officials visited the project site to clear the encroachment.

Several farmers were injured as the police baton-charged them, used tear gas and water cannons. Many police personnel were also injured as the protesters targeted them with stones.

'No one will be allowed to play with law and order,' the district magistrate said, making an appeal to the villagers to help maintaining peace.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Kisan Manch, a forum working for welfare of farmers, claimed that the farmers were not indulging in violent protests and were only demanding adequate compensation for their land.

'Nearly 30 per cent of the farmers of the clash-hit area are yet to get compensation from the government,' RKM president Shekhar Dixit said on Sunday.

'The farmers were not indulging in violent protests and only demanding adequate compensation for their land. Is their demand unjustified?' Dixit asked.

The district magistrate, however, had said on Saturday that the farmers had been adequately compensated.

The farmers' outfit also demanded that all the officials involved in the baton charge should be sacked. PTI CORR NAVHMB