Greater Noida farmers hail land acquisition verdict

Greater Noida, July 6 (IANS) Farmers in the western Uttar Pradesh belt of Greater Noida Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court order quashing the acquisition of land in Shahberi village. Land owners in other villages of the district said they too will approach the court against the state government’s takeover of their lands.

‘The verdict has brought smiles on our faces. For the first time, the farmers are being heard by the court. They were being left to die in this anarchic situation,’ said Ranbir Nagar, coordinator of farmers’ Gramin Panchayat Morcha.

Tej Ram Yadav, an agriculturist turned lawyer and resident of Haibatpur village, said: ‘Only the higher judiciary is saving our democracy. The state is in full force to loot people. Investors are entering real estate business for easy and massive profits. The state is cracking the backbone of farmers.’

In a major setback to the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld an Allahabad High Court verdict and quashed the acquisition of lands in Shahberi village here.

The Bahujan Samaj Party government had taken over the lands in Shahberi invoking the emergency provisions of the Land Acquistion Act, under which the land owners were denied the right to be heard.

Farmers of Patwadi, Khairpur, Ghanghola, Khodna-Kalan, Saini, Roja Jalalpur, Itehra and Haibatpur villages on the edge of the western Uttar Pradesh, close to the national capital, said they too will seek return of their lands from the high court.

Many farmers said they are willing to return the compensation amount to get their lands back.

Ravi Bhati, a farmer in Ghanghola village, said: ‘I am persuading my relatives to approach the high court. Many farmers who have collected their compensations will go to the court with us.’