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Punjab: Dalit body protests changes in land auction policy, to meet CM on May 24


Dozens of members of the Zamin Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC) — an outfit that represents Dalit farm labourers in Punjab — on thursday launched a protest towards modifications introduced in within the new lease coverage for panchayati land public sale for agriculture and tried marching to state Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s residence.

On Thursday, members of the outfit first organised a protest rally on the grain market of Sangrur within the afternoon. They then tried marching in direction of CM Bhagwant Mann’s residence in Dreamland Colony. They have been, nevertheless, stopped on the gate of by native safety guards and Punjab Police. They stayed put for the following one hour, elevating slogans towards Mann.

“Later, we received a message from the SDM who said that he had arranged meeting for us with the CM on May 24. After this, we decided to lift our dharna,” mentioned Mukesh Malaud, president of ZPSC .

The new lease coverage for panchayati land, which was notified on March 10 this 12 months, has completed away with a number of relaxations beforehand supplied to Dalit land labourers, leaving them miffed. The coverage got here into impact from March 16 — the day the AAP authorities was sworn-in within the state —and ever since then seen ZPSC organise protests towards it.

The AAP authorities has up to now claimed that the coverage was okayed by the erstwhile Congress authorities and applied earlier than they got here to energy. They have, nevertheless, promised to take a look into it.

“The new policy has withdrawn all relaxations given to the Dalits who take land on lease for farming purposes which were in place since 2018. We want all those relaxations to be reinstated,” added Malaud.

Paramjeet Singh, one of many labourers who took half in Thursday’s protests, mentioned, “We want the Dalits to be given one-third of all panchayati land on lease for farming purposes for a minimum of 3 years with no annual hike. This was the norm since 2018, and a few villages had got land on lease for 3 years at that time. We also want the rule of preferential treatment for 5 or more Dalits coming together to start group farming to continue. Auction of panchayati land meant for Dalits should be done in SC dharamshalas instead of a common place. We have been raising these issue for the past few weeks, but the government has so far not bothered to listen to our demands and the auctions are continuing unabated.”

Government officers, nevertheless, refuted Paramjeet’s declare and mentioned that the land public sale in some villages of Sangrur, Mansa, Patiala had already been postponed.

Malaud mentioned,”We need the Punjab authorities to intervene within the resolutions being handed by landlords and farm labourers in lots of villages over charges of paddy transplantation. If this isn’t completed, it might end in a conflict between farm house owners and labourers.”

Paramjeet however added that bidding of panchayati land for annual lease began from April 20 onwards and by May finish, the method will probably be wrapped up. “Hence, a meeting with the CM on May 24 will come too late,” he mentioned, including that the AAP authorities didn’t appear bothered to provide any advantages to Dalit farm labourers.





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