Nuh: Locals, farmers protest at construction site

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Nuh: Locals, farmers protest at construction site
© Provided by The Indian Express

A group of over 150 locals and farmers from 9 villages in Nuh staged a protest at a construction site owned by a foreign firm in IMT Sohna Friday morning, alleging that the administration had reneged on the terms and conditions of an agreement in 2015, years after it had acquired land from the farmers.

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The farmers, including representatives of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana, sat at the entrance of the site to try and stop work. They issued an ultimatum to the administration, warning that they will start an agitation if their demands were not met. The site was acquired by a Japanese firm and now a Chinese construction company has been contracted to build a factory there.

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At 3.30 pm, a delegation of 13 leaders from a committee of protesters met district administration officials, including the deputy commissioner, and deferred the protest till February 2 but said they will resume it if there was no headway till then.

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Capt. Shakti Singh, deputy commissioner, Nuh, said the issue was related to employment at the site between some local groups in these villages: “We have discussed the grievances with a delegation of the protesters and will find a solution soon. At the same time, we will ensure that law and order is maintained.”

In 2012, people from these 9 villages had protested for several months demanding increased compensation for over 1,600 acres of land, which was acquired by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) in 2009-10 for developing an Industrial Model Township in the district.

Imran Khan, a resident of Kheri village, said an agreement had been reached in 2015 whereby HSIIDC agreed to undertake development projects related to sewerage, power, water supply, schools, and burial grounds: “The agreement stated that in the industries set up in IMT and development work, priority in employment will be given to local youth…. Other demands related to payment of royalty to land owners and allotment of land for 100 sq yard plots to some villagers. Since the administration failed to fulfill these demands, we are protesting.”

Ravi Azad, a BKU leader from Haryana, alleged farmers were assaulted by some goons at the site: “… The people have not been paid due compensation and can’t approach courts as per affidavits… Action should be taken against those who assaulted farmers and raised anti-farmer slogans.”

He added that BKU Haryana supported the decision of the committee and if required, an agitation would be started, which would “shake the foundations of the government”.

Some local villagers, who have been employed with sub-contractors at the site, alleged that the protesters were not farmers. A sub-contractor from Kheri village, who supplied labour at the site, requesting anonymity, said, “They are using the farmers protest so that their own associates are allotted tenders for labour and trucks. For the past two months since work started, they have used several intimidating tactics…”

Waseem, former sarpanch of Kheri village, said, “These are pressure tactics by a small group from these villages to stall work.”

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