The Allahabad High Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the Kanpur administration's decision to allow use of agricultural land owned by Dalits for the purpose of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's maiden rally in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
A vacation bench, comprising justice SK Singh and justice Sanjay Misra, dismissed the petition filed by Sunil Kumari, who had claimed that 127 Dalit families living in Kalyanpur locality had been adversely affected on account of the administration's permission to hold the rally on the land which belonged to them and on which they depended for their livelihood.
The petitioner's counsel Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi said, "The court dismissed the petition observing that since just a day is left for the public meeting, it would not be proper to pass any direction for shifting the venue of the rally.
"However, the court has said that the affected families could move a representation before the administration seeking compensation for whatever damage may have been caused to their agricultural land in the process of preparing the ground for the rally," he said.
According to Naqvi, the affected families had been granted about four acres of land by the state government way back in the 1960s and they were miffed over administration's failure to seek their approval before allowing use of their land and its refusal to pay heed when they raised objections.
"Our objection was not to the rally, per se, but to the invidious manner in which the use of private land was allowed by the Kanpur administration without addressing the concerns of its owners," he said.