Congress revives Bhatta-Parsaul issue, Sachin Pilot arrested

Congress revives Bhatta-Parsaul issue, Sachin Pilot arrested

Greater Noida: Reviving the Bhatta-Parsaul farmers’ issue, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Sunday visited protestors lodged in Dasna Jail and was arrested on way to the violence-hit areas to meet families of those injured during the agitation over land acquisition.

Pilot, Union Minister of State for Information Technology, along with around 100 supporters, was arrested on National Highway 24 when his cavalcade left for Bhatta and Parsaul villages after he met those jailed during the farmers’ agitation demanding more compensation for their land.

The 34-year-old minister and his supporters were first taken to the police lines and later escorted to the UP-Delhi border at Noida before being released around 4:30 PM. They were taken into custody at around 2:30 PM under section 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent commission of cognisable offences).

“I will brief the Prime Minister tonight when I meet him at the UPA dinner.

We will not allow the UP government to forcefully acquire land. They should stop the land acquisition totally. The UP government should conduct a judicial inquiry and take the views of NCW and NHRC seriously," Pilot told reporters after his release.

He alleged that the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh is abusing its power and “killing people".

“I was not allowed to enter even Gautam Budh Nagar. I was arrested in Ghaziabad. I told the police that I just want to meet the villagers of Bhatta-Parsaul but they did not allow," Pilot said.

On his visit to Dasna Jail, where he was allowed inside with two of his supporters, Pilot said he met 22 villagers who have been booked “under as many as 14 sections" of IPC.

Four persons, including two policemen, were killed on 7 May during the Bhatta-Parsaul agitation.

“We want a judicial probe into the entire incident (at Bhatta-Parsaul). I was going to Bhatta-Parsaul to meet and console the families of the villagers. I was not breaking any law and my arrest is unjustified," he said.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was arrested on the night of 11 May by the UP Police after he had slipped unnoticed in pre-dawn hours to the affected area in support of the farmers agitating against the state’s land acquisition process for an expressway project.

Gandhi, who had spent nearly 19 hours at Bhatta Parsaul, was arrested under Sec 151 CrPC and released later.

Backing Gandhi’s claim of police atrocities on farmers in Greater Noida villages, the National Commission for Women has said complaints of molestation, stripping and rape of women as well as of people being burnt alive have come before it and has sought a CBI probe to “bring out the truth".

The UP government has, however, dismissed as baseless the allegations of burning of people and rape of women in Bhatta-Parsaul and said preliminary forensic reports of ashes collected from the area have ruled out presence of any human remains.