The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) has decided to cultivate 161 acres agricultural land attached with a historical gurdwara in Bhai Rupa village of Bathinda instead of giving it on contract farming. The apex body of Sikhs has been forced to take this decision as representatives of a langar committee, formed by local villagers, had taken control of this land soon after formation of the Congress government in state earlier this year.
Earlier, the SGPC had made a Rs 41-lakh contract farming deal with some farmers for the current fiscal to cultivate the land, which had come into the possession of SGPC in 2014 following court orders. After the Congress formed government in state, SGPC’s old rival in village Bhai Rupa Langar Committee has again claimed that land belongs to the village and that they would not allow SGPC to take control of it as they took symbolic control of the land last month.
SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh said, “This is SGPC’s land and we have decided to cultivate this land for upcoming year on our own. We had given it on contract farming for rs 41 lakh. Now some local Congress leaders have been trying to take control of the SGPC land. So we have decided to keep land in our direct control. We will use our all the resources to keep possession on land.”
He said, “We had taken control of the land only after court directions. We had been fighting legally for this land since 1963 and we won in every court. This land is a set of community and we cannot allow few leaders to take control of it. We have written letters to Chief Minister Captain Aamrinder Singh and DGP Suresh Arora to maintain law and order in Bhai Rupa. They have not acted on our complaint against some locals who had attempted to take control of the land last month.”
Raja Singh, president of Langar Committee said, “This land belong to Langar committee. We had filed a case in a local court in 2013 and case is still pending. The previous SAD-BJP government used its all power to not allow us contest the case and also pressurised judiciary. We have seek court to issue fresh stay orders on the possession of land buy SGPC.” On what if the court didn’t issue stay orders, he said, “We will not allow SGPC to cultivate this land at any cost. It is do or die situation for our village. SGPC had used state government to take control of land in 2014. We have High Hopes from Congress government that they will stand with villages.”
SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar has announced that it would participate in district-level dharnas across state planned by SAD-BJP against the state government. Badungar alleged that the Congress government had an “anti-Sikh attitude.” “Congress leaders have been trying to take control of the lands of SGPC-run gurdwaras. We will not sit silent and use every platform to raise our voice against the government.”
He said, “I want to make an appeal to all SGPC members to mobilise sangat for the dharnas planned by Shiromani Akali Dal Badal on June 12 against Congress government.”