Lok Sabha adjourned over farmer deaths


New Delhi : Both houses of parliament were adjourned till Tuesday following repeated disruptions from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) members protesting the killing of two farmers in police firing in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district.

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Both the houses witnessed three disruptions before the presiding officers called it a day without any business having been transacted. There were vociferous protests in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the killings during demonstrations Saturday night against inadequate compensation for acquisition of land in an area bordering Aligarh and Mathura districts. Land had been acquired for the 165-km long Yamuna expressway between Noida and Agra.

The Lok Sabha was first adjourned till noon. But the pandemonium continued when the house met again and MPs gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium to raise the issue, shouting slogans against the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government in Uttar Pradesh.

Meira Kumar then adjourned the house till 2 p.m. When the house resumed at 2 p.m., the protesting MPs didn’t relent despite repeated requests from the speaker who then adjourned the house till 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The BJP demanded introduction of a new land legislation promising better acquisition for farmers.

“We want the government to table the bill in this session only so that farmers in Uttar Pradesh and all over the country don’t suffer when their land is taken over,” BJP leader Rajnath Singh told IANS outside parliament.

There were similar scenes in the Rajya Sabha too. As opposition members shouted slogans against the deaths, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan adjourned the house for the day at 2 p.m. He had earlier adjourned the house twice, at 12 noon, and at 12.17 p.m. till 2 p.m.

Hundreds of farmers have been staging protests demanding higher compensation for land acquired for the Yamuna Expressway and damaged property belonging to Jaypee Associates that is executing the project.

Parts of Aligarh and Mathura districts were rocked by violence Saturday night, leading to exchange of fire between the police and protesters, which left two people dead and a dozen injured.

The 165-km, eight-lane expressway connecting Noida to Agra is aimed at reducing the driving time between New Delhi and Agra to just about 90 minutes. It is expected to make a lot of difference to foreign tourists headed for the Taj Mahal.

The protesters are demanding compensation for the acquired land at the rate paid to farmers in Noida and Greater Noida.