Thousands of farmers from the Nevali area in Kalyan on Thursday staged a violent protest against the land acquisition by the government for the Indian Navy. Protestors damaged a number of private and government vehicles, and set few of them on fire. The police was caught off-guard by the massive, violent mob, that left a number of policemen injured.
On Thursday morning, at around 8am, thousands of farmers from the 7-8 villages around the Bhal and Nevali areas, took to the streets in protest against the acquisition of land for the airport. The protestors, including women, children and youngsters, thronged the streets armed with placards, chanting anti-state slogans.
Vehicular movements on main roads leading to Malanggadh, Badlapur-Ambernath road and roads leading to Navi Mumbai, were stopped and police vans and tires were burnt at Nevali naka and Davalpada area. In certain areas, close to 10 policemen including assistant commissioner of police ACP Sunil Patil sustained injuries as they tried to contain protestors.
As per local farmers, these protest have been occurring for a few years against the forceful land grabbing by the government to constructing walls for the Indian Navy. They added, that these disputes were not new, and that the protests only turned violent after the government refused to pay attention to the peaceful protests by the farmers.
The violent protests sparked off after farmers were stopped from farming on their land, this monsoon. Farmers from four-five villages in the Nevali and Bhal areas staged a massive protest. Many protestors were associated with the local Jamin Bachao Andolan Committee and the protest was headed by the Nevali Grampnachyat chief Chainu Jadhav.
Within a short span of time the protest spread to a larger area, as police failed to anticipate the scale of the protest. Moreover, police bandobast was unable to reach the spot on time. After three hours when at 11am heavy police personnel were deployed at the tension area protestors vanished after causing damaged.
The regional additional commissioner of police Pratap Dighavkar did not respond to phone calls and text messages.