A meeting between the representatives of the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha (RDM) and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over tribal and Dalit land rights issue concluded on an inconclusive note on Friday.
Hundreds of tribals and Dalits, mostly from the eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh, had converged on the state capital on Thursday to protest against the government’s apathy towards the communities.
The agitators laid siege on Board Office square, one of the main thoroughfares of the city that left traffic haywire for over five hours.
On Friday too, members of the two communities, including women and senior citizens, demonstrated at the Ambedkar Park second number stop seeking a meeting with the chief minister.
After the meeting, RDM national general secretary, Sanjay Bharti, told reporters that landless Dalits and tribals were demanding either five acres of land each or Rs 5,000 as monthly compensation.
“During all election rallies the CM has been promising us that we would get land rights, but we have got nothing yet. If our demands are not met soon, we would be back on the streets of Bhopal,” he warned.
According to a communiqué issued by the state government, the chief minister has told the delegation that the government was making all efforts for the development of the weaker sections of the society.
Chouhan also assured that the previous land possession arrangement would not be disturbed. He has listed out the steps taken by the government for the benefit of tribal and dalits, the press release said.
The huge demonstration by hundreds of tribals and Dalits had caught the district administration completely unaware on Thursday. Talking to HT on Friday, additional collector BS Jamod said: “Things remained peaceful today (Friday). They (the agitators) met the chief minister before leaving the city.”