A clash broke out today between police and farmers in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district when the agriculturists resisted the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited's (GPCL) bid to take possession of their land for a proposed lignite plant.
The incident occurred near Surka village when a group of farmers hailing from around 12-affected villages was marching towards the GPCL mining site, police said.
The GPCL had recently started the process to take possession of land from farmers which it had acquired for the proposed plant around 20 years back, he said.
"We have rounded up five persons and are in the process of registering an FIR against them on rioting charge," the SP said.
The GPCL had acquired over 3,000 acres of land from around 1,200 farmers of 12 villages in Ghogha taluka in the district for setting up a lignite plant around 20 years ago.
However, the land remained in the possession of farmers, as the GPCL failed to build the plant in the area. The company recently initiated the process to take back the land which has been cultivated by farmers.
Farmers, who have been protesting against the GPCL move since the last two months, alleged the police personnel attacked them without any provocation.
They alleged that police did not even spare women and children who were part of the march.
"We were protesting peacefully at the mining site when we were savagely attacked by police who lobbed several tear gas shells. Several women and children were also injured in the incident," said Narendrasinh Gohil, a member of the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, a farmers' body that had organised the march.
"We are protesting against the forceful eviction of farmers by the GPCL and the state government. They are trying to take possession of our land despite the land acquisition having lapsed in pursuance to the new Land Acquisition Act, 2013, which requires the company to initiate the acquisition process afresh," he claimed.
The farmers had recently written to president and prime minister seeking permission for ending their lives, saying they will be left with no source of livelihood if their lands are taken away.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)