The Haryana government on Sunday called representatives of the Kissan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti for a meeting with the managing director of the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) in Chandigarh on September 22. The farmers were informed about the meeting by Vishal Kumar Meena, additional deputy commissioner, Gurugram, who attended a mahapanchyat organised by the protesters at around 2pm on Sunday.
Farmers from Kasan, Kukdola and Sehrawan have been protesting the acquisition of their land by HSIIDC for the last three months, demanding to be paid market rates. The protesters have said that the government has to release their land if they are not paid the desired compensation.
The mahapanchayat, involving around 2000 farmers from villages across south Haryana, began around 11am at Pachgaon Chowk on the Delhi Jaipur highway amid heavy police presence. The protesters shouted slogans against the government and the ruling party. They said that farmers voted overwhelmingly for the ruling party in the past which they now regret. Several speakers criticised the state government for forcibly taking over their land for inadequate compensation. It was announced that protesters wait till 2pm for a government representative to come forward with a proposal, failing which they will block the highway.
Dharm Singh Namberdar, who chaired the meeting, said that farmer representatives will meet HSIIDC managing director in Gurugram instead of Chandigarh. “We will discuss the matter with authorities and make it clear to them that this acquisition is not acceptable. If the government does not listen to us, we will hold another meeting on October 9 and chalk out the future course of action,” he said.
Prominent Kissan leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, who addressed the gathering, said that people should get ready to make sacrifices. “The agitation will be successful if people unite and are ready to make sacrifices as this government has turned a blind eye to the poor, favouring corporates. We need to send them a strong message that we won’t accept this imposition,” he said.
Farmers alleged that thousands of acres of land have already been acquired in Kasan, with only 1810 acres left. “We are not ready to sell this land and none of us will accept the compensation offered by the state government,” Satdev Kaushik, sarpanch, Kasan, and member, Kissan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, said.
Navin Jaihind, former state president, Aam Aadmi Party, said that the people of Haryana are in solidarity with farmers. “The government wants to reduce its debt by selling this land at a higher price. This is unfair and unjust and will be strongly opposed,” he said. Senior Congress leader Pradip Zaildar said that the rate offered by the government is severely inadequate. “We will fully support any decision of the protest committee decides,” he said.
DC Meena informed that the state government has decided to invite representatives of the Samiti for a meeting in Chandigarh to resolve the issue. “The farmer representatives can discuss the matter in detail to come up with a resolution. The government is mulling over a draft policy with enhanced compensation,” he said.
Last Sunday, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the government is willing to formulate a special policy to increase the compensation, given the farmers come forward for dialogue. The process to acquire 1810 acres of land in Kasan, Kukdola and Sehrawan began in 2011 but the matter got tied up in litigation. In 2020, the Punjab and Haryana high court vacated the stay after which the acquisition process resumed. On August 16 this year, the district administration announced the final award for the acquisition and fixed rates between ₹70 lakh and ₹91 lakh per acre.