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Japan agency funding Bullet Train project ready to meet farmers: Lawyer

AHMEDABAD: A lawyer representing the farmers who are opposing land acquisition for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train claimed on Wednesday that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to meet them.

On September 18, 1,000 farmers from Gujarat had written to the JICA, the funding agency, and requested it to form a team to hear the project-affected farmers.

They were staring at “involuntary displacement” due to land acquisition “which is against the JICA guidelines for funding of such projects,” said advocate Anand Yagnik, farmers’ lawyer.

“The JICA today formally acknowledged in a written communication that it has received the petition, and stated that soon it will arrange a meeting between JICA officials and farmers,” he said.

The farmers had earlier said they were considering approaching courts in Japan against JICA, Mr Yagnik said.

The farmers had also written to Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the issue.

Meanwhile, as many as 47 farmers have filed fresh petitions in the Gujarat High Court, joining the litigation challenging the land acquisition process for the project. The petitions will come up for hearing Thursday.