Shamlat land eviction: Majri block villagers protest against government’s ‘arbitrary’ order

Updated on Jun 17, 2022 02:04 AM IST
Village panchayats and land owners of Mohali’s five villages staged a protest against the Punjab government’s ‘arbitrary’ orders. Over 200 people gathered at Mullanpur barrier to head towards Punjab CM house
Calling the Punjab government’s orders “arbitrary”, over 200 people gathered at the Mullanpur barrier to head towards the residence of Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh’s Sector 2. However, the police had barricaded the area and stopped them from entering Chandigarh. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Calling the Punjab government’s orders “arbitrary”, over 200 people gathered at the Mullanpur barrier to head towards the residence of Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh’s Sector 2. However, the police had barricaded the area and stopped them from entering Chandigarh. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
By, Chandigarh

Village panchayats and land owners of Mohali’s five villages —Kasauli, Gurha, Karondiawal, Bhigandi, and Jayanti Majri, staged a protest at Mullanpur Barrier here on Thursday against the orders of the financial commissioner revenue (FCR), Punjab, wherein he cancelled the mutation done through various sale deeds by buyers for around 3,600 acres of land in these five villages.

Calling the Punjab government’s orders “arbitrary”, over 200 people gathered at the Mullanpur barrier to head towards the residence of Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh’s Sector 2. However, the police had barricaded the area and stopped them from entering Chandigarh. However, on the directions of the police, a group of 10 villagers met the CM’s officer on special duty (OSD) and handed over a memorandum to him in this regard.

As per the orders of the financial commissioner revenue (FCR), Punjab, the mutation done through various sale deeds by buyers for around 3,600 acres of land in five villages was cancelled. Dubbing it an “arbitrary” order, the protestors said the FCR, under the Consolidation Act, used his power to cancel the consolidation done in 1991 by the officer concerned without giving them an opportunity to be heard.

Following the issuing of the orders, the villagers and land owners moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the Punjab government had sought time to file their reply.

Bhigandi sarpanch Pal Singh said, “We had thought that the AAP government would bring some change, but now they are taking land from landowners’ land. The land does not belong to the government and when challenged in the high court, the government is now changing their ownership. We will intensify our protest if we do not get back our lands and till our demands are met.”

“The OSD of the CM said that due to byelections in Sangrur, Mann is occupied in campaigning and that he will listen to our demands,” Pal Singh added.

“Not only we have lost our lands but also our means of livelihood. Agriculture is our primary source of sustenance, and the government is taking the right to live from us,” said Amandeep, a protester.

Rajinder Singh Virk, a land owner in Kasauli village, said Article 300-A of the Constitution protects the proprietary rights of the individuals and the FCR had no powers to determine the rights, which even in the case of dispute are settled by the civil courts. “The high court will listen to villagers’ petition on Friday and the protesters are expecting some relief,” he said.

Do not take coercive steps against 5 Mullanpur villagers: HC

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the Mohali authorities not to take any coercive steps against five villagers from Mullanpur and sought a response from the government by July 28.

The plea was from Naib Singh and others, who had challenged an order whereby the authorities had ordered immediate possession of land measuring 2,321 bighas at the village. They had argued that petitioners were owners in possession since 1909-10. It was argued that even as the claims about the disputed land remain undecided, the authorities had ordered immediate possession of the land.

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