Despite assurances from the minister and district collector that the master plan for industrial zone was only a draft, the farmers’ joint action committee (JAC) observed a bandh at the Kamareddy district on Friday which saw shops and commercial establishment closed, roads empty and preventive arrest of several leaders of BJP and Congress who have extended support to the farmers.
State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar visited Adloor and met the family of the deceased farmer who committed suicide over the issue and promised to support them.
Addressing the protesting farmers, he assured support to their cause till the plan was not withdrawn by the state government. Congress leader Shabbir Ali was arrested by police at Indira Chowk in Kamareddy town when he joined the agitating farmers.
Farmers from eight villages under Kamareddy and Yellareddy Assembly constituencies have been agitating for sometime over the master plan which included their agricultural land for the industrial zone and green zone. Out of nearly 1,200 acres about 900 acres belong to farmers of these villages. They are apprehensive that their agricultural land would be swallowed up in the real estate explosion that will follow the master plan.
One of the farmers P Ramulu committed suicide on 4 January over apprehensions that his land would be acquired by the government. This led to a march by the farmers with his body towards the collectorate but police intervened and took away the dead body and arrested the agitating farmers.
The municipal administration and urban development minister KT Rama Rao upbraided the officials for not addressing the concerns of the farmers and assured that it was a draft plan but it did not end the protests.
The farmers’ agitation at Kamareddy has come as an embarrassment for the BRS government which has prided itself as a friend of farmers and had given the call, “Ab ki bar kisan sarkar.” And it has also taken away the sheen from its attempt to project itself as a pro farmer political party.