n Led by Medha Patkar, Wadkha farmers plough their fields
Narmada Bachav Andolan (LBA) leader Medha Patkar helped 33 Wadkha village farmers on Tuesday in reclaiming their land which was acquired in December 2008.
The village is located near a mound in the five-star Shendra MIDC. Only a handful of farmers have houses in the village. The farmers claimed that police suddenly reached the village on December 3, 2008 and arrested them along with their family members. A total of 28 men and 15 women of the village were taken to the police station, the farmers alleged.
The land of these farmers was acquired for a 'Special Economic Zone (SEZ).' The value of land is in crores of rupees. These farmers got their land back today with the help of Narmada Bachav Andolan leader Medha Patkar.
Patkar reached Nathnagar, Wadkha today at 11 am and held a meeting of the affected farmers. She also chalked out the course of the agitation.
The farmers along with their family members led by Patkar reached the SEZ and took back their land.
Talking to newsmen, Medha Patkar said that Ajanta Pharma obtained 100 hectares from the MIDC under the SEZ scheme.
Of this, 35 hectares of land belonged to these farmers. The MIDC did not take consent of the farmers nor gave any compensation to them, she claimed adding that the case is sub judice.
Ajanta Pharma has not started any factory on the land which was acquired five years ago. It also did not give job to the children of farmers, she said.
"Farmers ploughed their land today. They did not venture into the Ajanta Pharma land. We are unarmed and have launched a legal battle. We have all documents related to the land, so using police force would not deter us. The MIDC should show all the documents," she said.
Assistant police inspectors Nirmala Pardeshi and Sambhaji Pawar reached the spot to handle the situation.
A meeting will be held on July 24 at 11 am to hold discussions on the issue. Collector Vikram Kumar, superintendent of police Ishu Sindhu and MIDC officials will remain present.