Farmer protests in Maharashtra turned violent on Thursday as they set vehicles on fire and clashed with the police, leaving four policemen injured.
Farmers were agitating against land acquisition for a proposed airport at Nevali, about 50 kms from Mumbai. Three police officers and a constable sustained injuries in the clash.
The state government had some years back started acquiring land in the area to set up the proposed airport which the farmers have been opposing.
The angry protesters pelted stones at the security personnel when they tried to control the situation, the police official said.
Policemen also fired plastic bullets at the protesters to disperse them, police said.
The protesters blocked the Kalyan-Haji Malang road in the area by throwing burning tyres and wooden blocks on it. They also torched a police van, three trucks, two bikes and a tempo in the area, the official said.
The aggrieved farmers had earlier this month approached the Bombay High Court with a bunch of petitions challenging acquisition of over 1,600 acre land by the Ministry of Defence for an airport requisitioned during World War II.
According to the petitions, the land was requisitioned by the government through an order passed by the then Thane collector in February 1943, under the Defence of India Rules.
The petitions have challenged the validity of the requisition order.
The Defence spokesperson said, “The land in reference is owned by Ministry of Defence/ Indian Navy and the state government land records certify the same.”
“The Maharashtra government is fully aware of the subject case and is providing police protection and support from the state/district administration and revenue authorities,” the spokesperson added.
(With inputs from PTI)