Friction between protesting farmers against land acquisition by the state government and local police was reported at Baadi village near Ghogha town in Bhavnagar district on Sunday morning.
The crowd of 10,000 farmers had gathered including elderly people, women, and children to protest land acquisition initiative by the government. The situation became tense after the farmers became outrageous and police had to detain 40 persons and fire 20 tear gas shells at the protesting crowd which became violent. Twenty people reportedly got injured in the incident.
The situation could been bought under control after only deployment of 1000 to 1500 police persons by the district police superintendent (DSP).
The Gujarat Power Corporation Limited(GPCL) stopped the work of land acquisition after the incident which was meant for the coal-based power plant. The farmers of 12 villages including Baadi have been protesting acquisition and demanding more compensation.
The DSP Pravin Mal said, "The GPCL had sought the police protection during the procedure of acquisition well in advance and we had deployed the sufficient number of police personnel looking at the possible friction with farmers.
A huge crowd of 10,000 people from 12 affected village gathered there when the GPCL people started the process of acquisition and caused interruption. The police had to use its force to stop the people but that aggravated and police had to charge batons and release tear gas shells."
Thought the police took control of the situation it is still tense. The Baadi Khedut Sangharsh Samiti president Kanaksinh Gohil who also was detained by police said, "Our struggle still continues and we will do self-immolation as surprise programme and will not inform place about the time and day for that.
As a protest, we will cancel the admission of 2500 odd children of 12 villages who are studying in government and private schools in nearby areas."
BJP local MLA and minister of state for fisheries in Gujarat government Parshottam Solanki for his reactions but to no avail.
No other BJP leader at the local level also turned up here after the incident. Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani also belongs to the same district.
The local Congress leader Sanjaysinh Malpar, vice president of Ghogha Taluka Panchayat has been trying to negotiate between the state government and farmers in this case. Manu Chavda, a local politician also had reached here and taken the side of farmers but was detained by police.
Looking back at the history of the current land acquisition row, the government had acquired 1,355 hectares land in 12 villages including Baadi and nearby for Bhavnagar Thermal Power Plant, lignite mines, constructing a colony, ash dumping.
The consent award was passed between 1997 and 2001 and compensation of Rs. 48,000 per hectare for non-irrigated land and Rs 72,000 per hectare for irrigated land was also paid to farmers. The power plant was to be functional in two years as per the condition of land acquisition but that happened in 2017.
The farmers filed the PIL in February this year before Gujarat High Court that the plant was to be operational by 2000 and project was delayed for many years.
Some 90 farmers had filed an appeal before the court and sought a declaration from the court that the land acquisition proceedings initiated more than two decades ago, with compensation paid thereafter should be considered to have lapsed.
The farmers also claimed that the land acquisition had lapsed according to section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
They also argued in PIL that since the government had paid compensation to farmers, but physical possession of land was not taken for more than five years, the government could not take possession of the land.
As farmers gathered in strength ruling bjp government with wafer thin margin got stumbled.