Andhra farmers protests on Land acquisition

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Angry farmers from Penumaka and Undavalli, two villages that are part of Andhra’s upcoming capital Amaravati, took to the streets on Thursday and threw vegetables on the road.

The incident occurred near the office of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) in Penumaka.

The farmers sat down in front of the CRDA office, and demanded that the state government immediately withdraw a recent land acquisition notification.

“Majority of the farmers in the village are small and marginal farmers with small land holdings. For the last two and half years, we are spending sleepless nights. We have refused to give our land under land pooling scheme and refused to budge in the meetings for social impact assessment, but the government went ahead and issued land acquisition notification, in spite of our objections,” Naresh Reddy, a farmer leader was quoted as saying.

Reddy also reportedly said that officials had labelled their lands as ‘dry lands’, even though the farmers grew four crops a year.

The farmers later submitted a representation at the office.

The notice that the farmers were referring to, was issued on April 11 this year, by the Guntur District Collector.

The Andhra government said that it was just a preliminary notification, and land owners could file their objections in the next 60 days, as mandated under the Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Andhra Pradesh government assured the Hyderabad High Court that it would not adopt any coercive methods or force anyone to part with their land for the new capital.

The petitioners reportedly complained that the authorities were forcibly trying to acquire their multi-crop, fertile lands without following due process.

Besides this, the court also told the Andhra government not to allow any unauthorised constructions in Amaravati and ordered that stern action be taken against any illegal constructions that come up.

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