Varanasi farmers take cop, SDM hostage

New Delhi: After Bhatta Parsaul, farmers in Varanasi have been up in arms for four days against the district administration’s attempts to acquire land for a city centre.

On Saturday, the agitation took an ugly turn when the farmers allegedly took a Sub Divisional Magistrate and a police office hostage in Chandauli district. The duo managed to escape on Saturday evening.

The SDM however, denied this and said he was there on his own will. Farmers allege that authorities have begun the process of acquiring 121 hectares of land against their wishes, a move that will affect one thousand farmers.

Speaking on land acquisition while on his way back from Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it should not happen at the cost of the farmers’ livelihood.

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