The Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee on May 12th launched a protest besides the residence of chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s residence, voicing their outrage against their being denied procurement of panchayati land . Over 2000 agricultural labourers stormed in raising slogans. Preceding the protest in the morning a march was undertaken starting at the fruit market to traverse other areas of the town. At the conclusion of it was declared that the Chief Minister promised to conduct a meeting with the ZPSC on May 24th.
The ZPSC convenor Mukesh Mulaudh spoke about how dummy land auctions were undertaken with land distributed at exorbitant prices inspite of the notification issued in 2018 during the 3rd phase of the land struggle and how in reality the ruling party did not fulfill any of its promises.He recounted how huge debts still prevailed in over 100 villages of dalit labourers and how Nazrul land was still not awarded.
Paramjit Kaur and Bikhar Singh Hathua narrated how inspite of proclaiming introduction of laws for welfare of dalit community, the agricultural labourers are compelled to pay huge prices for procuring land .They recounted how the dalits were virtually boycotted by the Upper caste farmers which was patronized by the ruling party. They expressed the sheer apathy of the Aam Aadmi party towards the injustice meted out to the agricultural labour.
Jaswant Singh, Paramveer Singh, and Jagtar Singh declared the burning demands .It included auctioning of land at fair rates in he third phase of struggle, undertaking of land distribution only in the dalit dharamshalas ,the prosecuting of all upper caste landlords who boycotted the dalits, awarding o Nazul land to dalits, implementation of the land ceilings act where any excess of 17 cares of land posessed would be redistributed to dalits, allocating of land plots to dalits, and proper housing.
In the conclusion Gurvinder Singh,Vikas Jaloor and Dharampal Singh gave an ultimatum to the govt.declaring that if they did not resolve the issues within 24 hours,a massive state level stir would be launched .
It is complementary how the ZPSC embarassed the rulers in their very backyard, emerging a very thorn in their flesh.
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.