Hundreds of farmers staged a protest outside the Noida Authority office here on Monday, threatening to lock down the building over their demands related to land compensation. The protestors, under the banner of 'Kisan Astitva Bachao Andolan', had gathered in the morning outside the authority's office in Sector 6, where they have been staging demonstrations since February 11.
"We are protesting the wrong done by the Noida Authority over the years over compensation given to farmers in lieu of their land," said Sukhveer Singh, who led the protest. City Magistrate Shailendra Kumar Mishra, Superintendent of Police (City) Sudha Singh and Noida Authority's officer on special duty Rajesh Kumar Singh had reached the protest spot in a bid to pacify the farmers.
The protest was called off later in the afternoon with the farmers warning a return on Tuesday to get their concerns answered, said Sukhveer Singh, the convenor of the protest. Officials at the Noida Authority said they reached out to the protestors and offered to talk to them through the situation but they declined to come inside the office for any talks.
"They want officials to come out and resolve the issue among the crowd, which is not practical. We will tomorrow again reach out to them. The Noida Authority is sensitive to their demands and wants their demands to be resolved. But talks could be done only with a delegation or with their leadership," OSD Rajesh Kumar Singh told PTI. Sukhveer Singh, later in the day, said the farmers do not want to talk to officials inside the office and want the issue to be resolved "in front of the public".
"That is why we won't accept any offer for talks inside the office. We want it to be transparent. They (Noida Authority) have in the past also fooled us with such offers," he told PTI. Meanwhile, some farmers, including those from Sarfabad, Bakthyarpur, and Chhijarsi, were charged by police under Section 144 of the CrPC over carrying out a motorcycle rally on Sunday evening and disturbing the law and order.
"We carried out a rally to raise awareness among the people about our issue. What else can we do when no one is listening to us?" Sukhveer Singh, who was one of those charged under Section 144, told PTI.
(With inputs from agencies.)