A four decade old dispute over a piece of land in Gurgaon took an ugly turn on Monday when eight family members of 1971 Indo-Pak war martyr Hawaldar Kartar Singh, including 82-year-old wife, were thrashed by a mob of neighbouring villagers led by a dreaded local criminal.
The dispute dates back to 1972 when the family, as it claims, bought the piece of land from Bhoolram Pandit. But some villagers of Dhanwapur staked the claim over the land asserting that their forefathers had given the land to Bhoolram Pandit in charity which was not to be sold. The martyr’s family however said that Pandit gave them the land on a lease for 99 years in 1972.
“We bought the land from Pandit. But the Dhanwapur villagers have been eyeing this land since then. Now they turned violent and beat us,” said Amarjeet Singh, son of the martyr, also injured in the attack.
At 6:30 pm on Monday, 30 people from Dhanwapur village beat the family members at the disputed land, approximately 350 square yard area, in lane number 10 of Laxman Vihar under Sector 5 police station area when it had assembled to clean it up. Many vehicles of the victims were also vandalised in the attack, police said. Among the injured who were rushed to civil hospital included martyr’s 82-year-old wife Sarti Devi.
The dispute even reached the court which recently asked both the parties to maintain status quo. The family led by the martyr’s wife even took up the case before CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s during his Gurgaon visit on Sunday. When the CM inquired about the case, he was briefed by local police that the piece of land was registered in Sarti Devi’s name since 1972.
Based on the complaint filed by martyr’s wife, police have lodged a case of rioting, unlawful assembly, causing hurt voluntarily, criminal intimidation and other sections of Indian Penal Code against 25 people including a dreaded criminal Sunil alias Tota, an advocate Joginder Dahiya, and others—all from neighbouring Dhanwapur village. No one, however, has been arrested yet.
“It is a case of attempt to grab the land that is registered with the martyr’s family for 44 years. We have lodged an FIR and are investigating it. The accused will be arrested soon,” said Rohatah, the police sub-inspector investigating the case.
Among the injured included Dharmo Devi, 64, Hanumant Singh, 37, Amit Singh, 28, Amarjeet Singh , 45, Baljeet Singh, 55, Bajendra Singh, 44 and Jagbir Singh, 25. All have been discharged from the hospital.