Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) amid tight police security on Monday took possession of the controversial 161 acres of land in Bhai Rupa village located in Rampura Phull constituency. Task force of SGPC came along with police of Bathinda and Faridkot and they ploughed the already vacant land with tractors in the presence of police and later announced that it had been given on lease for the coming paddy season. The task force, which came in about 60-70 four wheelers, was accompanied by Kewal Singh, vice-president of SGPC, along with members of SGPC – Mohan Singh, Sukhdev Singh Bahia and many others.
While SGPC members claimed that the land in question was always there and Bhai Rupa langar committee was raising objections for no reasons. The langar committee president Rajwinder Singh however stated that they will chalk out next course of action soon. Today the committee members were not allowed to interfere in the possession work and it was alleged that police never allowed the langar committee members and the other villagers to come out of the village and even media was restrained from doing coverage of the incident.
It needs to be mentioned that Bhai Rupa Langar committee had gone in Rampura Phull court regarding the controversy of the land in question and the next court hearing was on July 10, but possession was taken a month before the court hearing. SGPC members however maintained that when already the land was in names of SGPC in revenue records, they had all the reason to take possession of the same. The members added that even last year as well, SGPC committee had given that land on lease to few families for farming and even this year as well they have done the same.
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However on May 21, there was a clash between SGPC members and Bhai Rupa langar committee members when the later were trying to get the land auctioned and few had also been injured in this incident. After few days, 5 persons of Langar committee had also been arrested by police who are still behing bars. The langar committee members had staged a dharna outside SDM Rampura two daya back that they had bail orders of arrested members, but despite that they were not being released.
Earlier Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka and area MLA had also supported SGPC and had snubbed police for delay in action. The villagers however had disliked this action of Maluka and they had been extended support by Faridkot MP Sadhu Singh as the area falls in Faridkot parliamentary constituency. Information revealed that the persons who had taken land on lease are likely to start paddy transplantation soon while Bhai Rupa Langar committee members stated that they will not let this happen.