Three persons, including a woman, were injured in a clash between the police and farmers at Bhatta Pasrol village in Greater Noida on Monday. The farmers were staging a protest, demanding higher compensation for their land that is yet to be acquired by the Yamuna Expressway Authority. While the farmers — more than 50 in number who have been on a dharna since January 17 — allege that it was the police who attacked them, the police claim that the farmers pelted stones and even tried to set a police vehicle ablaze, so in defence they opened fire.
“We were midway through our havan when five police vehicles stopped. They got out asking us to end the protest. When we refused, they opened fire injuring three people, including a woman,” said Chaudhury Manveer Tewatia, who led the protest.
The police refuted the charges claiming the contingent was on its way to Lucknow as it had arrived on Sunday along with Chief Minister Mayawati. As per the police, aboard five vehicles, including three trucks, the 32 Battalion contingent was passing by the temple where the protests were being held. Two vehicles had already passed the area when the farmers stopped the third vehicle. Circle Officer, Greater Noida II, Rajesh Kumar Singh said, “They overpowered us and began throwing stones at the vehicles. A few farmers brought kerosene to set the truck ablaze. In defence, the force was required to open fire.” The farmers allegedly stole an entire unit of light machine guns from the truck and held a subedar hostage.
Three of the injured were rushed to Kailash Hospital where their condition is stated to be critical. The hospital authorities said, “One of the injured, Ravinder, suffered bullet injuries in his lung and is on ventilator. Laveen is undergoing an operation after he suffered injuries on his hands. His wife suffered bullet injury on her left hand.”