The Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee has joined hands with the residents of Cheeta Kalan village to prevent a prominent housing and urban infrastructure company from acquiring a prime piece of land in the village to include it in the housing project that the company started some time back.
A meeting on the issue was held on Friday at Cheeta Kalan, 15 kilometres from the city, and it was decided that if the district authorities do not evict the housing company from the land, then the union, along with the residents, will block NH-1. The date for the protest will be finalised after the last meeting with the district administration.
The land, measuring a little over 5 kanals and 5 marlas, belongs to Kuldip Kaur, Kundan Singh, Gurpreet Kaur and Baldev Singh of the village according to revenue records.
Village resident and member of the union, Harjit Singh, said, "A housing project of the company spread over 122 acres is coming up along NH-1 and in the vicinity of our village. As the land in contention is located within the area acquired by the company, it took over its possession sometime back despite protests by owners."
Harjinder Singh Tanda, president of Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee, claimed that the company officials, who had links with political leaders and certain other high-ups, tried to pressurise the land owners to give up claim over the land.
The matter reached the district administration and an inquiry was ordered to ascertain the ownership rights as company officials claimed to have acquired the land after duly paying the owners, the kisan leader added.
The inquiry report of the sub-divisional magistrate, dated September 16, states that after inquiring into the matter and checking the revenue records, it had been established that the land in contention belonged to Baldev Singh, Kundan Singh, Gurpreet Kaur and Kuldip Kaur.
The inquiry report was sent to the area tehsildar concerned with orders that the land be restored to its original owners. Official orders were sent to the village panchayat on November 12 to inform the residents that the tehsildar would be visiting the village on November 15.
"However, till date, the tehsildar has not come to the village and whenever we try contacting him, he keeps making excuses," said Harjit Singh, claiming that some prominent political leaders had been approached by the company for support.
The village residents are in possession of another order of the SDM directing the tehsildar to ensure that the roads leading to the village, which are government property, are not encroached upon by the housing company. These directions were given after the SDM received reports of roads having been taken over by the company.
Tehsildar JP Salwan said he was with a close relative who was seriously ill and added that he would visit the village soon to sort out the issue.