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Punjab farmers protest land acquisition by industry


Chandigarh : Thousands of farmers in Punjab Monday protested against the acquisition of their land at nominal prices for setting up industrial units.

The farmers protested outside the offices of deputy commissioners of 11 of Punjab's 20 districts – mostly in south Punjab and especially the newly created district of Barnala, 200 km from here.

Farmers from three villages – Fatehgarh Chhanan, Sanghera and Dhaulan – in Barnala district have been up in arms against the acquisition of 376 acres of prime agricultural land by the state government for the setting up of an industrial unit of the Trident group.

Though the farmers had been protesting the acquisition since last year when the previous Congress government led by Amarinder Singh gave the clearance for the project, they are not happy with the present Akali Dal government led by Parkash Singh Badal either.

The farmers have accused Badal of going back on his promise to get them adequate compensation for the land.

They have said they were forced to sell their land at prices far lower than the prevailing rates in the area and are demanding that land compensation be calculated as per market rates.