Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 17:21 UK

India farmers die in land protest

Farmers protest against the World Trade Organisation in India
farmers in India say their needs are being increasing neglected

At least four farmers have been killed and 50 others - including policemen - injured in clashes in a suburb of the capital Delhi, police say.

The farmers were demanding compensation for land recently acquired by the Greater Noida Authority.

Senior police official Brij Lal said police opened fire after other methods failed to disperse the violent crowd.

Opposition Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav alleged that police opened fire on unarmed farmers.

Mr Yadav called the killings "murders" and demanded the "guilty" policemen be punished.

He accused the police of trying to suppress facts in relation to the deaths.

But officials have blamed "some anti-social elements" for the disturbances. They say that those responsible for the violence will be dealt with firmly.

Officials also say that farmers were paid compensation by the state government according to an agreement reached in 2006.

The BBC's Ram Dutt Tripathi says that acquisition of land for the expansion of cities and industrialisation in India has become a very sensitive issue.

Some experts say that food security in a country with a population of more than one billion may be jeopardised if such building developments continue.

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