Farmers' 'Zameen Samadhi' agitation enters 14th day

By Times Of India on 16 Oct 2017
JAIPUR: Ninder farmers are staring at a dark Diwali this year as the state government seems to be in no mood to resolve the ongoing protest.

As the Zameen Samadhi protest entered its 14th day on Sunday, those leading the agitation termed the state government's refusal to address the matter as 'unfortunate' and claimed that farmers would not budge until their demands are met.

"We were hoping some middle ground would be found before Diwali, but it seems that farmers may have to celebrate Diwali half-buried in the earth," said Nagendra Singh, coordinator, Ninder Bachao Sangharsh Samiti.

As many as 700 farmers are sitting half-buried in the lands proposed to be acquired by JDA. The protest has garnered support from opposition Congress party. PCC chief Pilot said that Diwali festivities have already begun, yet the state government and JDA have not paid any heed to the demands of farmers.

"Officials should visit Ninder and make efforts to find an amicable solution to end the protest," said Sachin Pilot.

Though the state government has agreed to farmers' demand to conduct a fresh survey, it has simultaneously announced to continue the work of developing a colony on the land which is in JDA possession. However, the idea has not gone down well with the farmers who are protesting.

"We have demanded that no work on Ninder housing project site should be done till the survey report is completed," said a farmer.

The JDA, however, is adamant to carry out work on nearly 282 bighas of land, which was surrendered by the farmers earlier.

The farmers demanded a committee should be constituted comprising JDA officials, district collector and farmers of Ninder village to carry out a fresh survey.

They also demanded the committee should cover all the hamlets and housing colonies developed on the acquired land in Ninder village. A report estimating minimum needs of every family member should also be prepared. Besides, the committee should assess the cost of structures which will be damaged during acquisition.

The farmers have demanded to assess the income of the families and impact on their lives after the land acquisition.