Bathinda, June 24
Alleging harassment by the state government over alleged possession of panchayat land, farmers from six villages in Bathinda have claimed ownership of the land saying it has been cultivated by their ancestors for decades.
Members of the Zameen Bachao Sangharsh Committee, formed by farmers from Jeeda, Khemuana, Jandanwala, Goniana Khurd, Virk Kalan and Harraipur villages, on Friday claimed if the government tried to take possession of the land on the plea that it belonged to the Rural Development and Panchayats Department, they would launch an indefinite stir.
In a news report published on June 22, it had come to the fore that on scrutiny of revenue records by the department, it was found “due process” was not followed while giving ownership of the land to farmers of these villages in 2012.
Khemuana sarpanch Baljit Singh claimed: “This land did not ever fall under the panchayat land category. Even in the Revenue Department records, it was never shown under this category. We have cultivated this land for decades and now the government wants to take it away.” As per the report, the land in question falls in Jeeda (155 acres), Khemuana (119), Jandanwala (1,475), Goniana Khurd (274) and Harraipur (923) and Virk Kalan (755), with the price being pegged at over Rs 800 crore.
DC Showkat Ahmad Parray said: “There is no official communication from the government in this regard. The case will be duly reviewed by the Rural Development and Panchayats Department.”
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