[2014 update] Land issues

24 Dec

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We had in our past updates talked about how different issues have been taken up in the sangathan depending on the interest of its members. For some time now the sangathan has been dwelling into land issues as it is one of the issues which engages most members of the sangathan, as most are landless workers.

In Araria the sangathan got involved in a struggle in araria nagar parishad. Here bhoodan land was allotted to 8 non-residing families while 12 families who were residing on these plots were not given land deeds. With perseverance and support from the Bhoodan Yagya committee, the battle to get papers given to its rightful owners has achieved some success.

The Bhoodan yagya committee has issued land titles to all the 12 rightful owners, but for further paper work the case is to be heard in the ADM’s court. We are waiting for the law to take its own course but while we wait we got into a ramble with middlemen who tried to grab the land in favour of the 8 families whose land titles were cancelled. This took us to the Araria RS police station where no hearing was being given to those victimized by these middlemen. A day long satyagrah at the police station finally led to the filing of an FIR on the middlemen. The satyagrah was made interesting by the fact that we just sat there in the heat without even the most basic shelter singing and slogan shouting. The local media was enamored by this group of jogis singing at the door steps of the police station, asking for justice. You can watch a small clip of the songs which were sung at the police station here.

No further action on the FIR was taken but this was the first time we were able to directly challenge the wrong doing of the police. When Ranjit who was leading the staygrah was asked to come in by the Sub-Inspector, he refused saying “aap neeche aaeeye aur sab ke beech men baat kariye”. And finally the SI came and agreed to file an FIR!

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