Paddy bouquets for Jharkhand legislators


Ranchi : Farmers protesting against the government for taking over farmland for setting up an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and a law university presented bouquets made of paddy to legislators here Tuesday.

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The villagers of Negri on the outskirts of the state capital have been protesting against the acquisition of more than 200 acres, calling it agricultural land.

They gathered outside the state assembly and handed over the bouquets to legislators going inside the house to attend the winter session.

“We want the legislators to raise the issue in the assembly. There is no coal or iron ore under our land. It is agricultural land where paddy is grown. Many families will lose their source of living,” Shanku Chatterji, the activist who handed over the paddy bouquets to the legislators, told IANS.

Supporting the farmer’s demand, K.N. Tripathy, a legislator from the opposition Congress party, told reporters: “We received the paddy bouquets from the farmers. They want their land to be spared. There are many barren lands where the law university and IIM could be set up.”

The Nagri villagers have already lost their case in Jharkhand High Court and Supreme Court.

The state said the land was acquired around 50 years ago for an agricultural university. It remained unused and villagers then began growing crops on it.

Later, the state government, on the directions of the Jharkhand High Court, formed a committee led by land and revenue minister Mathura Mahto to look into the issue.

The panel has submitted its report, and, according to sources in the government, has recommended hiking the compensation to the affected villagers.