Farmers 'seize' office property of Gujarat government entity over pending land compensation- The New Indian Express


AHMEDABAD: A group of farmers took possession of movable assets, including computers and printers, of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam at its Gandhinagar office in Gujarat in a bid to recover their long-pending dues as ordered by a civil court.

The farmers hailing from the Vadodara district had given their land to the state government for the construction of the Narmada canal over 34 years ago, but have yet to receive the full compensation, their advocate said.

They took possession of at least nine CPUs, an equal number of monitors, and five printers belonging to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) on Saturday.

Videos of the farmers in action surfaces on social media on Monday.

Some farmers of Abhol village in Padra taluka of the Vadodara district came to the SSNNL’s office with an “attachment warrant” issued in favour of the farmers by a civil court in Padra earlier this month, said their advocate R D Parmar.

“A total of 27 farmers of Abhol village were not paid the full compensation by the SSNNL even after 34 years have passed since their land was acquired. The civil court had issued an attachment warrant asking farmers to seize the movable assets of the Nigam and recover their dues by auctioning these assets,” said Parmar.

He said farmers came to the SSNNL’s office in the secretariat complex in Gandhinagar on Saturday and seized computers and other peripherals worth nearly Rs 3 lakh.

“We have executed only two warrants so far. We still have 25 warrants. This seizure will continue if the officials do not pay the compensation of Rs 68.92 lakh,” Parmar added.

Neither the minister of the concerned department nor officials of SSNNL were available for comment.

Parmar said the SSNNL had acquired agricultural land of 27 farmers of Abhol in 1988 to build the Narmada canal.

“At that time, the SSNNL, following a High Court directive, had agreed to pay Rs 1,625 per ‘arey’ (one arey equals to 100 sq meters) as compensation. Instead of making a full payment, the Nigam paid compensation at the rate of Rs 1,400 per ‘arey’ to each of the 27 farmers in 2005. This was Rs 225 less than what was decided in the court (Rs 1,625) after litigation,” said Parmar.

“That pending due came to nearly Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for each farmer. With the interest, the total dues as of today stand at Rs 68.92 lakh after 34 years. Since SSNNL was not showing any interest in paying the compensation, the civil court in Padra had issued an attachment order in 2019,” said Parmar.

He said the court had dismissed the SSNNL’s review petition earlier this month and once again issued attachment warrants so that farmers can seize the movable property and recover their dues by selling it.

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