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Punjab » Courts

Posted at: Apr 12, 2016, 2:31 AM; last updated: Apr 12, 2016, 2:31 AM (IST)

AAP: Fighting for farmers’ rights in SC

Catchment land case

  • Farmers living near riverbeds had encroached upon non-fertile land and made it cultivable
  • In 2007, the government transferred the ownership rights to the farmers after charging Rs 14,000 an acre registration fee
  • It put a 10-year ban on farmers to sell the land but granted them a right to take a bank loan up to Rs 3 lakhs an acre
  • In 2011, the SC cancelled the state government’s 2007 notification, terming the regularisation of encroachments invalid
AAP: Fighting for farmers’ rights in SC
Farmers show their conveyance deeds of catchment land at Lohgarh village in Jalandhar on Monday. Tribune photo

Rachna Khaira

Tribune News Service

Shahkot, April 11

Condemning the Punjab government for “failing to put up a strong case” in the Supreme Court against its decision to cancel 2007 notification pertaining to the allotment of land around riverbeds to farmers, AAP state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur said the party had filed an appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court.

He was at Lohgarh village here to attend a farmers’ meet today. He said: “Party’s senior leader HS Phoolka has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court and will try to get a stay over the decision. Also, the party will try to get the order quashed.”

Chhotepur said a majority of the farmers had taken loans against land and were paying heavy installments every month. Instead of filing a strong appeal against the decision, the state government had issued a diktat to the farmers to give back the possession of land.

Chhotepur flayed the SAD-BJP government over the poor condition of state’s farmers. He said 2015 had been termed a ‘black year’ in the history of the agrarian state as the maximum number of farmers had committed suicide in this year. “Around 800 farmers committed suicide last year and with four or five farmers committing suicides everyday from the last few days, the situation has become worse,” said Chhotepur.

Accusing the Akali leadership of hiding the actual figures of farmer suicides in the state, Chhotepur said according to facts placed recently in Parliament, Punjab reported second highest numbers of farmer suicides in 2015.

"The report stated that around 17,000 farmers have committed suicides till date in Punjab and out of 37 farmers who are committing suicides everyday in India, a majority of them are from Punjab," claimed Chhotepur.

He said for Punjab, the largest foodgrain contributor to the central pool, it was a matter of grave concern and the ruling alliance had failed to provide respite to the aggrieved community.

"Nowadays, they have even stopped registering farmer suicide cases and are terming them as deaths due to family disputes or personal reasons,”he alleged.

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