Pithoragarh, October 15
Several policemen and women protesters were injured when the police used force to control residents of Bindukhatta village near Haldwani when they attacked the caravan of state Labour Minister Harish Durgapal here today. The minister had come to inaugurate the municipal area office of Bindukhatta. The villagers shouted slogans demanding the revenue village status for Bindukhatta instead of the municipal area status.
According to reports, a large number of residents of Bindukhatta village near Haldwani in Nainital district today opposed the programme of Labour Minister Harish Durgapal, who had come to inaugurate the municipal area office in the locality. “Those who are in favour of the municipal area status for the village are contractors and power brokers who are deceiving local farmers,” said Pan Singh Koranga, a local resident.
“We have struggled a lot for the development of Bindukhatta village in the last 40 years. Those who are saying that the urban body status was essential for the development of the area are lying. The urban body status will deprive farmers of their land which has been obtained after a long struggle,” said Purushotam Sharma, president of the state unit of the All India Kisan Mahasabha.
According to reports, the inauguration ceremony was held hurriedly as the villagers had warned the organisers against holding the function. “Even the notification was issued in a hurry and the villagers could not present their viewpoints during the hearing on the issue,” said Sharma.
Local reporters, who covered the demonstration of the villagers, said the police lathi-charged the protesters, mainly comprising women, to disperse them. “Women had come with their children and the police resorted to a lathi charge to disperse them,” said Shobhana, a journalist in Haldwani.
Bindukahtta villagers said they were not in a position to pay taxes if the village was made an urban body. The nature of their land would get converted to Nazul land and they would have to pay a heavy amount of money to own the land that they had obtained through a long struggle for 40 years. “We had started opposing the urban body status for Bindukhatta on December 12, 2014, when the government issued a notification to make it a municipal area,” said Sharma.
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