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UP farmers stir: Rahul Gandhi arrested, released, Congress to protest

Greater Noida (Uttar) Pradesh , Thu, 12 May 2011 ANI

Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), May 12 (ANI): Congress on Thursday vowed to continue with its protests against Uttar Pradesh Government's land acquisition policy after party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was arrested and then released following his visit to the Bhatta Parasul village in the Greater NOIDA area of the state to support agitating farmers.


The Congress Working Committee announced a 'Chakka Jam' in the state in protest against the state government's action against the farmers.


Meanwhile, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh and Jayant Choudhury will meet Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh later today to discuss the land acquisition row.


Gandhi, who spent almost 19 hours at Bhatta Parasul, was arrested under Sec 151 CrPC at around 11 p.m. and was taken to the Kasna police station.


He was released on bail by the Uttar Pradesh Police and brought to Delhi at 2:15 a.m.


He was arrested along with AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Congress MPs Raj Babbar and Parvez Hashmi, and other Congress leaders.


Condemning the arrest, senior party leader and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the arrest of Rahul Gandhi was an "autocratic action".


"Arrest is not the answer. Rahul Gandhi went to Batta Parsaul, to empathize with the farmers there and it is unfortunate that such an action has been taken by the state government instead of solving the main problem," he added.


He said Rahul Gandhi was not taking up the farmers' cause as a political issue.


"This is a livelihood, natural and farmers' issue. He reached out to the farmers. By arresting him, the state government has acted in a most irresponsible manner," he added.


Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said: "Uttar Pradesh government's action in arresting Rahul Gandhi proves that Mayawati is digging her own grave".


"If any sense of justice is left in the government, a judicial inquiry is the minimum that the state government should order immediately," he added.


Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "We are working towards the Land Acquisition Act but till such time the law is amended there is absolutely nothing which requires the government to acquire land at throwaway prices without negotiations and to give it to rich persons for rich projects".


"The government is entitled to ensure that the average farmer gets a good deal. This is not something, which happened yesterday. These people have been protesting for last several months...Some compensation, some land ...something could have been worked out," he added. (ANI)


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