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Two groups clash during auction of shamlaat land for Dalits in Sangrur

Two Dalits, Charanjeet Singh and Dilbara Singh, had come forward to take land on an annual lease. Mukesh Malaud, president of ZPSC, said, “Both have been bribed, otherwise the entire village wants it on 33 years lease only.”

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: July 2, 2019 1:10:25 pm
Sangrur: Auction of panchayat land for Dalits cancelled again Gurmukh Singh, a member of ZPSC, said,” We are seeking the land at Rs 500 per acre only, while government’s rate is Rs 20,000 per acre and that too for annual lease. [File photo]

Two groups clashed in village Tolewal of Sangrur district over the issue of annual auction of village shamlaat land for agriculture. Five acres of this shamlaat land is reserved for Dalits.While police claimed that both groups comprised of Dalits and the clash left 10 injured, a group of Dalits claimed that they were attacked by Congress workers.  Amid this controversy, the auction of land was postponed yet again.It was the fourth attempt at auctioning the land reserved for Dalits for agriculture purposes.The clash happened during a protest by Zamin Prapati Snagrash Committee (ZPSC) and seven persons supporting the group was injured, while three were from the opposing side. While a few injured were referred to Patiala, the rest are getting treatment at civil hospital, Amargarh.

On June 8, nearly 220 members of gram sabha of this village had passed a resolution that shamlaat land of village reserved for Dalits for agriculture purposes will be given for 33 years lease at a rate of Rs 500 per acre only.

The resolution was sent to block development panchayat officer (BDPO) who refused to accept it. Since then, there have been efforts to organise an auction.

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Beant Singh, sarpanch of this village who is an SC, said,” Neither the BDPO is cancelling gram sabha resolution, nor accepting it. I am the sarpanch, but BDPO meets one Congress leader Lal Singh Chaudhary — landlord of this village for all consultations regarding auction or even other matters.

Lal Singh is not even a panchayat member, so why village panchayat is being ignored by BDPO?”

Gurmukh Singh, a member of ZPSC, said,” We are seeking the land at Rs 500 per acre only, while government’s rate is Rs 20,000 per acre and that too for annual lease.

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Today, an auction was first organised at village Dharamshala where we went and protested.

Then the officers went to the village gurdwara and Dalits of the village kept following them. From the gurdwara, they went to government school and finally to Anganwadi centre where clash happened and even elderly women were not spared.

Lal Singh was carrying a stick in his hands.”

Two Dalits, Charanjeet Singh and Dilbara Singh, had come forward to take land on an annual lease.

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Mukesh Malaud, president of ZPSC, said, “Both have been bribed, otherwise the entire village wants it on 33 years lease only.”

DSP Subegh Singh, while confirming the clash, said,” Two groups of Dalits clashed with each other in which few persons have been injured, we are recording statements and will act as accordingly.

Today’s auction, however, has been postponed.” DSP denied that it was a clash between Dalits and Congressmen. He said,” As per my information, it was between two groups of Dalits.”

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First published on: 02-07-2019 at 01:05:33 pm
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