Videos emerging on social media show scenes from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district turning into a battleground as violent clashes broke out between police and farmers on Saturday.
A crusher plant and pipe at a power sub-substation was set ablaze on Saturday by angry protesters and black plumes of smoke covered Unnao's skies. Several firefighters were sent to the scene to put out the blaze.
The farmers are protesting to demand just confiscation for land the government has expropriated for the Trans Ganga City Project— a residential project that the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation is developing.
In the videos, police forces can be seen hitting unarmed farmers with their batons as they stood with their hands in air, clad in white.
In another video, policemen were seen thrashing a man lying on the ground protesting to retreat.
Can anyone believe this video is from Ram Rajya & the man being served by so many officers is the Annadata?— Kanchan Srivastava (@Ms_Aflatoon) November 17, 2019
Unnao farmers are on protest to seek compensation for land pic.twitter.com/NZYwj23JZt
Another video shows police beating female protesters as they tried to disperse the villagers by chasing them back.
In Unnao #India |— Sameer Baloch (@REBELBALOCH) November 16, 2019
Women treated under #RSS_BJP Regime ❗
Women farmers were beaten by Indian Police.
The women farmers who were demanding compensation for the land were beaten brutally by the police.@amnesty @hrw @UN_Women
According to police, seven of them were wounded during the villagers’ stone-pelting. Police resorted to a baton-charge and lobbed teargas shells at the crowd to control it.
Farmers have claimed that their lands were acquired forcefully by Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA) and that they did not receive any compensation for the land acquired by the government.
"We are demanding justice from the past three years as our land has been forcefully acquired by the authorities for trans-Ganga city project. We want compensation. UPSIDA can start the work after fulfilling our demands. No discussions were held during the acquisition," Indian news agency ANI quoted a protester as saying.
"I am not getting loans from the bank as we do not possess any land. So far, we have not received any compensation for our acquired land. I do not what to do now," said another protester lamenting over the issue.
The land in question had been acquired in 2012 but the work on the project has been halted for three years because of the farmers' outrage over the compensation being offered. The issue was again ignited when a team attempted to resume work on Saturday and farmers started pelting the excavation equipment with rocks.