The Zameen Prapt Sangharsh commitee on August 29th lodged a sustained protest outside the District Collectors office in Patiala, under the leadership of Zonal secretary Gurvinder and Dharamveer Harigadh. Around 50 persons participated.
Mukesh Malaudh adressed a gathering, stating that the authorities in villages of Patiala reverted their decision to distribute Panchayat land for agricultural labourers and even in the villages where allotment of plots was sanctioned, its allocation was sabotaged. Even the land titles were removed.
Inspite of amassing money, they debarred the dalit labourers from possessing the land. A ZPSC delegation met district collector Sahni.
Sukhpal Singh Khadrabad and Dharampal Nukhedi spoke about how only 25 families were given permanent work.
Prominent participants were Loni Maleawal, Mani Malewal, Amrik Singh, Randhir Singh Kadrabad, Gurcharan Singh, Dhola Singh, Kuldip Singh Jalapur Deep Kakrala,,Dhola singh and Jaswant Singh.
Another illustration of how the administration at every juncture reverts its promises of awarding 1/3rd panchayat land to the dalit agricultural labourers. It exposes the superficiality of the land titles given to the dalits and the powerful mechanism of the administration to manta in the power structure of the landed upper caste community. Even after formally awarding land titles to dalit families, it Denies them right to capture panchayat land. Only a sustained agrarian movement can pave the way for any long term victory for the agricultural labourers. Legal channels are becoming fruitless.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India and attended programmes o the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Comitee.