Farmers in Una up in arms against SEZ and airport


Shimla: Farmers of the Gagret area today organized a massive protest against the proposed SEZ and airport proposed to come up in Una district, today. Thousands of farmers came out on the roads in tractor trailers. They were holding placards, arraying slogans against the present government.

Their grouse is that the government was acquiring their land for creating an SEZ for the benefit of big industrial houses. Villagers from 21 Gram Panchayats reached Una and staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner office of Una for about one –and-a-half hour. The DC was forced to make a public announcement that he would not recommend acquisition of land in Gagret segment for construction of an airport.

Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal had earlier announced that the government has given a green signal to construct an airport in the private sector. The people residing in the 25- odd villages near the land alleged that the government was silent on the issue of allocation of alternate land for their resettlement and loss of livelihood from agriculture sources.

Meanwhile, Multan Singh president of the Matri Bhumi Sangharsh Samiti, which is spearheading the movement, said the farmers would not allow Gagret to follow the footsteps of Nandigram in west Bengal. Other organizations supporting the protest include Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Communist Party, Him Niti Manch and Kisan Sabha.

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