The saga continues of the betrayal of the administration to fulfill promise of distributing Reserved panchayat land in Punjab for dalit community. In no uncertain terms leaders of the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh commitee challenged the rulers that they would under no conditions accept land auctioning till the panchayat land reserved for dalits is distributed. Rage of dalit agricultural community is simmering at a boiling point at the reluctance of the rulers to comply to their promises with struggle intensifying day by day.
A protest was launched in Bhawanigarh by the ZPSC .Speakers Avtar Singh and Gursharan Garacho spoke about how land distribution for dalits was boycotted in Jhaneri, Garacho, Bali Kalan and Badiana villages.Inspite of the dalit community consistency calling for 3 year lease of land the administration has given scant respect to it.Inspite of the negotiation with the govt on May 24th the administration undertook auctioning to ruin the dalit mohallas.The leaders pledged that under no conditions would they proceed for negotiations with the govt if the reserved panchayat land was not allocated to the dalits.They stated that they would to the last tooth prevent the rulers from undertaking land auctioning if the reserved panchayat land was not awarded and they would relentlessly resist till their demands were fulfilled.
Chamkaur Singh,Harjinder Singh,Ramchand Jhaneri, Amarjit Singh, Chamkaur Singh, Charanjeet Kaur, and Gurcharan Singh were also participants.
Gherao at Hardike Village
On 14th May a massive gherao was launched in Hardike village at the DCP office protesting cases foisted against 13 activists of the ZPSC who relentlessly waged a battle to procure allocation of reserved panchayat land for dalits,With intensity at a boiling point the activists thwarted a bid of dummy auctioning from being staged in Hardike village. The administrators foiled the bid of initiating land distribution. With great fury the police beat Dalit women in their houses. The leaders mentioned how in several areas dummy auctioning of land was mushrooming annually with land distribution scrapped in villages like Jaloor, Balad Kalan, Garacho, Jhaneri, Dhndoli Kalan , Tolewal, ,Fathehgarh,, Barikala,and Sherpur.The 13 activists framed were Balwinder Singh,Shingara Singh, Balkindra Singh,Ajayab Singh, Jaswinder Singh,Chinder Kaur,Harcharan Singh,Nehar Singh,Major Singh,Hukkam Singh,Jaswant Singh and Gurpreet Singh. The ZPSC leaders affirmed that they would fight to the last drop o the blood for the lifting of charges lodged on them.
Subsequently on Friday with rage of coal fire burning in Katori Chowk in Sherpur staged a dharna challenging Gagandeep Singh from entering he vicinity, and eventually blocked his entry into the area when h was approaching a bank. Gagandeeep was responsible for sabotaging land distribution and conspiring to foist cases on the 13 ZPSC activists.Sarpanches Hardike, Gurdip Singh Alipur,Bahdur Singh Kotri,Gurjant Dhaneri, Kuldip Singh Sultanpur,and Manpreet Bedesha asserted how no action was undertaken by the police to punish the culprits who were responsible for sabotaging land distribution. Finally the DCP Parminder Grewal confirmed that 2 activists were arrested while the remaining 11 were held for investigation.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist from Mumbai who has toured and reported democratic events and struggles in Punjab and attended programmes of the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee.