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Handcuffing incident an insult to farmers: Kanta

Special Correspondent

Two farmers were also chained while being shifted to hospital


‘District administration is spreading lies by saying majority of farmers are ready to sell land'

‘Union Government has not given clearance to the proposed thermal power plant'


GULBARGA: Farmers who are up in arms over the “forcible” acquisition of their fertile land for the proposed thermal power plant at Ferozabad, on Thursday took exception to two of the protesters, who were on a fast in the Gulbarga Central Jail, being handcuffed and chained while being shifted to hospital on April 24.

The former Minister S.K. Kanta, who is spearheading the farmers' agitation, told presspersons here on Thursday that in gross violation of the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission's directions, the farmers, Lateef Jahagirdar and Basavaraj Sonar, were handcuffed while being taken to the Government General Hospital. He alleged that their legs were also chained.

Terming this as an “insult” to the entire community of farmers, Mr. Kanta said there was no reason for the authorities to handcuff and chain the farmers. Both farmers were not in a position to move “let alone escape from custody while being shifted to the hospital.”

He alleged that this was done deliberately to demoralise the farmers.

Protesting against “the inhuman treatment meted out to them”, both farmers resumed their indefinite fast after they were discharged from the hospital and sent back to jail on April 27.

Mr. Kanta said the district administration and vested interests were spreading falsehoods by claiming that a majority of farmers in Ferozabad, Honna Kirnagi and Nadi Sinnoor were ready to sell their land. He said the aim of doing this was to divide the farmers. “If it is true, let the district administration come out with the names of the farmers who are ready to sell their land.”

‘Strange'

Referring to the statement of Afzalpur MLA Malikayya Guttedar that 75 per cent of the farmers were ready to sell their land, Mr. Kanta said it was strange that the Congress, with which Mr. Guttedar is associated, was opposed to the thermal plant but he was supporting it. “Mr. Guttedar should also come out with the names of farmers who are ready to sell their land for setting up the thermal plant,” he said.

Mr. Kanta said the Union Government had not given clearance to the proposed plant and that the Ministry of Environment and Forests had only issued “terms of reference to carry out environment impact assessment” of the proposed project.

Mr. Kanta issued an ultimatum to the State Government and said that it had 10 days to provide details on who gave clearance to the district administration to acquire land for the proposed thermal plant.

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