May 22, 2010 11:13:32 pm
Threaten to block national highway in protest; DC tells Radha Swami sect to stop construction
Hundreds of farmers from villages located on the bank of Beas river have accused Radha Swami Satsang Dera Beas for illegally extending the embankments of the river to change its the course,resulting in erosion of their land.
They have threatened to block National Highway-1 on May 23 and May 30 if the district administration fails to take any action. Farmers of five villages including Butala Chakoki,Dhilwan,Mand,Bhaini and Kotli,met the deputy commissioner of Kapurthala on Friday after they noticed trolleys and cranes on the banks of the river.
DC Raj Kamal Chaudhary has conveyed to the dera to stop the activity immediately or to face legal action.
Earlier,the farmers had given their complaint in writing to the district administration as well as the financial commissioner.
We owned nearly 20 acres land but now our land has become a part of the riverbed and we can hardly earn two square meals, said Surjan Singh of Butala village.
Mohan Singh Butala,who heads the Zameen Bachao Sangharash Committee,said the Dera had earlier indulged in such activities as well and harassed poor farmers.
He alleged the government is hardly doing any thing to protect the farmers interest despite repeated complaints as many big-wigs are the followers of the dera.
It may be noted that in revenue record it was clearly shown that how the land of farmers got eroded due to change of the river flow.
DC Chaudhary said SDM S K Singla was sent to the spot today along with Drainage department officials after receiving complaint from the villagers. The SDM confirmed that the Dera was raising the embankments.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines