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Noida, May 7, 2011
Three state transport officials held hostage by agitating farmers were rescued today after a clash with police in which two Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) jawans and a farmer were killed and ten people were hurt at Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, official sources said.
Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal was admitted to hospital after he was hit in the leg by a bullet.
The farmers of Bhatta Parsaul village in western Uttar Pradesh were demanding higher compensation for land being acquired for the Delhi-Agra Expressway. They alleged that the government acquires land at cheap rates and sells them to private builders at high prices.
They took officials of State Transport Corporation hostage during the protest, sources said. When the police tried to rescue the hostages, the farmers turned violent.
Police resorted to a cane-charge to control the situation. However, the farmers started firing in retaliation in which the District Magistrate, along with City Magistrate Sanjay Chauhan, Senior Superintendent of Police Surya Nath Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rahul Kumar and SHO Dankaur Rajeev Kumar, was injured.
All the injured were admitted to Kailash hospital. The managing director of the hospital, Dr Mahesh Verma, said the two PAC jawans, Manohar Singh and Manveer Singh, were brought in a serious condition to the hospital and died during the treatment.
Farmers said two agitators were killed. The toll was likely to rise.
The District Magistrate was also admitted to Kailash hospital where his leg was being operated upon.
The State transport officials identified as DK Bhardwaj, Niranjan Das and Jitendra Kumar held hostage by the agitators have been freed, sources said.
Additional forces have been deployed near Bhatta Parsaul village to keep the situation under control.
The farmers under the leadership of Manveer Singh Tibitya have been agitating for compensation since January. In Lucknow, the state government blamed him for the deaths.
State Director General of Police Karamveer Singh said that Tibitiya was "behind the incident and he along with his gang of 100 youths, armed with firearms, had attacked the police party who went to free the three UP State Road Transport Corporation(UPSRTC) employees kidnapped by the farmers yesterday."
"There was no particular demand of the farmers, who were agitating under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti for the last three months but Tibitiya was not interested in the solution," he told mediapersons.
The DGP said that it seems Tibitiya had some vested political interest on the issue and had led agitations at various places in Aligarh, Mathura and Bulandshahr in the past.
"Tibitiya has fled from the village after the incident and police is in search of him along with his supporters," Mr Singh said.