Tribune News Service
Sangrur, June 12
Dalits from around 29 villages, under the banner of Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), after a protest here announced that they would forcibly take possession of reserved land in their villages from June 15 if the authorities failed to fulfill their long-pending demand.
“Our main demand is that the state government should auction reserved land on lower rates than last year. However, it has increased the rate by 5-20 per cent. The Dalits want to take the reserved land jointly and grow fodder and wheat for our use. Committee members will forcibly take possession of the reserved land in all 29 villages of Sangrur, where the auction was cancelled on June 15,” said Balwinder Jhaloor, district committee member of the ZPSC.
These Dalits first converged in the local grain market, then took out a protest march from the grain market to the Deputy Commissioner’s office. When no one from the administration came to meet them, they blocked the local bus stand chowk for around one and half hours and raised slogans against the Punjab Government.
“Upper caste landlords want to take reserved land on lease on the name of dummy Dalits. The state government should understand that we are already facing serious financial problems and can not pay higher rates to take reserved land on annual lease,” said Kulwinder Kaur, a Dalit from Dhandiwal village.
When contacted, Sangrur District Development and Panchayat Officer Nirbhinder Singh refused to comment saying he was out of the district.
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