Agra: Angry farmers with black flags demonstrated in Agra to protest the opening of the 165-km Yamuna Expressway without the Uttar Pradesh government fulfilling their demands, which include returning their land now used for constructing a new township.

The expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra was inaugurated on Thursday by the state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav by way of a video conference from Lucknow.   

The protest took place at Etmadmpur tehsil near here where Jaypee Infratech, the developers of the expressway project reportedly acquired land for its Wish Town project. Manoj Sharma, convener of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, said that "more than 350 farmers, whose land had been acquired for the township, staged a protest dharna and we demonstrated and ran through the Expressway with black flags".

The farmers said their demand for return of the land had not been met as yet, though the Allahabad High Court had referred the matter to the state government, which was given three months time.The farmers Thursday afternoon began ploughing their fields with tractors.

"We are ploughing on land said to have been acquired by the Jaypee group for its Wish Town project," Manoj Sharma said.

A group of farmers in Mathura district said the promise to construct service roads had not been kept. The farmers are demanding cuts at two places and sub-ways.

In Agra the district authorities have begun clearing up the road from the Kuberpur intersection to the Water Works crossing and via the Yamuna Kinara road to the Taj Mahal area.  

"Its not an easy task as there are so many encroachments, the road is narrow, the transport companies have not been shifted," said activist Shravan Kumar Singh.


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