SALEM: On the second day of the survey works for the proposed Chennai-Salem Green Express Corridor (GEC) project, which began amidst heavy police protection and protest, Periyar University sophomore and activist Valarmathi was arrested for allegedly instigating the farmers against the land acquisition on Tuesday.
In the morning, led by Tahsildar Venkatesan, the Revenue officials measured the lands at Achankuttaipatty. When farmers obstructed the officials, police dispersed the farmers.
When the officials measured the four-acre farm of an one Kalaivani -- an assistant engineer attached to Salem City Municipal Corporation (SCMC), she picked up a quarrel with officials and refused to depart with the land that she had inherited from her parents. Kalaivani also alleged that the officials re-routed the project in order to benefit a few companies and educational institutions and therefore had to acquired more farmlands. However, the revenue officials denied such allegations and explained that the survey works were still in the first phase of the project and that farmers would be duely compensated.
Meanwhile, activist Valarmathi, who was earlier detained under Goondas Act for distributing pamphlets against hydrocarbon projects, spoke to the farmers in the Achankuttaipatty about the Expressway project.
“The government is trying to forcibly take our lands by using force,” she alleged.
Hearing her speak so, the police questioned if she had land in the village. When she responded that she did not but was there as villagers had asked her to visit, she was forcibly removed and taken to the Ammapet AWPs. Later, the police registered a case against Valarmathi under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge his/her duty) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal
Code and she was remanded in prison. Earlier, the police arrested two farmers for instigating a protest.
Speaking to media persons, Collector Rohini R said, “In order to give details about the proposed project, the revenue officials have been conducting meetings with the farmers. We have been taking all measures to resolve the doubts. People can contact the district administration anytime.”
Actor Mansoor Ali Khan was detained by the Salem police in Chennai on Sunday for his remarks against the proposed project and Piyush Manush, an environmental activist, was arrested on Monday evening.