Land auction put off to avoid standoff between Dalit groups

On Tuesday, the two groups were called for a meeting and later a committee of four members, two each from both groups, formed to resolve the issues.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published:May 31, 2017 2:40 am

The Sangrur administration has postponed the auction of 125 acre of agricultural land reserved for Dalits in Balad Kalan village to ensure that the exercise is conducted peacefully. The auction in the village was scheduled for May 31. However, in the past two years, the village has witnessed violent episodes during the auction process with two Dalit groups accusing each other of fielding dummy candidates on behalf of the landlords. On Tuesday, the two groups were called for a meeting and later a committee of four members, two each from both groups, formed to resolve the issues. The auction has been put off till the matters are resolved.

In 2016, a group of 120 Dalit families supported by Zamin Prapti Sangrash Committee (ZPSC) had been allotted 100 acre of land, while the rest 26 families supported by the landlords of the village had been allotted the remaining 25 acre of land for annual farming. Gurmukh Singh, a ZPSC member, said, “Today both groups were called for a meeting and we urged that land should be proportionately divided among all the 146 families and according to that, the families with ZPSC will be getting nearly 104 acres instead of 100 acres.”

ZPSC president Mukesh Malaud said, “Even last year the chunk of land given to the families supported by landlords was the one which had good irrigation facilities and we raised this issue before the district panchayat officer that everyone should be given land in a fair manner. We had got a large chunk of land with minimum irrigation facilities. So, all these points were discussed in today’s meeting after which a committee has been formed. Till then auction has been postponed.”

Last week, a clash took place in village Jhalur during auction in which two persons were injured and an FIR filed against five members of the ZPSC. However no arrest has been made so far. Auction in Jhalur too has been postponed. A fresh date of auctions for both villages is awaited yet.

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