Members of Muthada Kalan panchayat in Phillaur subdivision of the district claimed they were unable to evict an alleged encroacher on the village land owing to pressure from the ruling party (SAD) and the district administration.
Village sarpanch Kanti Mohan, who provided documents pertaining to the dispute to the media on Monday, claimed that Sewa Dass from nearby Rurka Kalan village illegally took possession of more than four acres of land at the village a few years back. The land, he said, was in possession of Sewa’s forefathers Rattan Dass Chela and Ishar Dass as cultivators before independence.
“As per revenue law, Sewa has no legal right over this land. The law says legal heirs have no right over a piece of land in possession as kashtkaar (cultivator). The land belongs to the panchayat in revenue records as well.We filed petitions under the Punjab Village Common Lands Act to evict Sewa Dass at various revenue offices, but to no avail,” the sarpanch further said.
Accompanied by other members of the panchayat, the sarpanch said, “Revenue officials did not pay heed to our case but immediately admitted the petition filed by the accused to delay the matter. We even met the CM at Chandigarh in June and he marked our application to the divisional deputy director panchayat for necessary action but to no avail,” said the sarpanch.
They also showed the copy of farad of the land that is in the panchayat’s name.
“Few SAD leaders are supporting the accused and are trying to exert pressure on the government machinery. Our entire village is united on the issue but we are feeling frustrated as why the land has not been handed over to the panchayat. It’s fertile land and can be a good source of income for us,” the panchayat members said.
Naresh Gujral, district development and panchayat officer (DDPO), Jalandhar, said since both the parties have moved the deputy director of land records, he would not comment on the issue.