PROTESTERS STOPPED: Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh being arrested on the Delhi-U.P. border on Saturday. He was en route to Dadri.
NEW DELHI: The former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh, along with other leaders and volunteers, was arrested by the Ghaziabad police on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on Saturday. He was on his way to the Reliance Energy Limited plant at Dadri in Ghaziabad to stage a gherao, demanding adequate compensation to farmers whose land was acquired for the project.
Earlier, clashes between the police and villagers at the protest site at Bejhera Khurd, Dadri, left many injured. While the villagers alleged that the police tried to forcibly remove them and also opened fire, the police denied having resorted to firing and said the villagers threw stones.
Mr. Singh, who was accompanied by Jan Morcha leader Raj Babbar and Indian Justice Party president Udit Raj , was stopped soon after he entered Ghaziabad around 12.30 p.m. He and the other leaders were taken to the Housing Board guesthouse, where they were placed under arrest.
Mr. Singh alleged that the U.P. Government was under the control of the corporate sector, which was dictating terms.
Mr. Raj Babbar said the protest was not against the gas-based power project but against payment of inadequate compensation to farmers for acquisition of 2,500 acres.
On Friday night, the Ghaziabad police swung into action at Bejhera Khurd, where a group of farmers had been protesting for the past several months. The villagers alleged that the policemen entered their homes at night and beat up several men after dragging them out.
On Saturday morning, clashes occurred after the police allegedly used force to disperse protesters. The police claimed that the villagers first resorted to heavy stone throwing, in which many policemen sustained minor injuries. The villagers said several of them fled Bejhera Khurd fearing police action.
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