BANGALORE: Over a hundred farmers from Gonipura village and Doddkuthena Halli staged a protest against the land acquisition by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for NICE township here, in front of Kumara Krupa Guest House, in Bangalore on Thursday. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, RV Deshpande, and Legislative Council opposition leader, VS Ugrappa, also joined the protest. Speaking at the protest, RV Deshpande said: “The government is acting as an agent of the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), and without looking into the original alignment, it has issued orders for land acquisition. It is evident that NICE wants to grab agricultural land and the government is supporting it by issuing notification to the farmers.” The farmers alleged that their villages are not in the original alignment scheme accepted in the Frame Work Agreement (FWA) and the Project Technical Report. Despite that, officials of KIADB are trying to acquire their land and the government is supporting them.
VS Ugrappa said, “The government has become puppet in the hands of Ashok Keny and NICE officials. They are offering just Rs 85,000 per acre against the market rate of more than Rs 2 crore. This is an insult to the farmers and the state. If the government does not take this seriously, the protest will spiral out of control.” The protesting farmers tried to barge into CM’s official residence ‘Krishna’ and had a scuffle with the police there.
Meanwhile, High ground Police arrested Ugrappa and others, when they tried to block the road, but were released soon.