Shamlat land eviction: Mohali sarpanches object to notice

Published on May 23, 2022 12:51 AM IST

Sarpanches of five villages alleged that the Mohali panchayat collector issued the public notice for eviction while overriding their powers

According to the sarpanches of five villages in Majri block of Mohali, the land is owned by the villagers since before the Independence and had been further resold several times. (Representative image)
According to the sarpanches of five villages in Majri block of Mohali, the land is owned by the villagers since before the Independence and had been further resold several times. (Representative image)
By, Mohali

After the Mohali panchayat collector issued a public notice on the behalf of panchayats to landowners at five villages in Majri block asking them to vacate around 3,000 acres of shamlat land, sarpanches of these villages have alleged that the action was taken while overriding the panchayats and warned of moving the high court and launching a protest against the “illegal” move.

According to the sarpanches of Kasauli, Gurha, Karondiawal, Bhigandi, and Jayanti Majri villages, the land is owned by the villagers since before the Independence and had been further resold several times.

On May 17, the collector had issued a public notice stating: “We are proceeding under Section 11 of the Punjab Common Land/Village Land Regulation Act 1961 to vacate around 3,000 acres of panchayati land.”

The collector has asked the landowners to appear before him on May 24. The villagers say they are not against eviction proceedings against people who have illegally taken possession of land owned by gram panchayats, but the pieces of land covered under the current notice are owned by individual persons of the village whose shares have been sold multiple times.

These lands were deducted from the shareholdings of all villagers for common needs of the village, but the ownership still remains with these villagers, the sarpanches said after their meeting on Saturday.

What sarpanches say

Kasauli village sarpanch Somnath said: “Our villagers are the owners of the land since before Independence, and it is in no way shamlat land. The unfortunate part is that the collector has not taken panchayats into confidence before issuing the public notice.” He further said that some people have farmhouses, which are legally purchased and constructed and have given employment to several villagers.

Jayanti Majri sarpanch Bhag Singh said: “We are in possession of small landholdings and it is difficult for us to make both ends meet because of the water situation and wildlife in our area, which leads to inadequate produce. In case the issue is not sorted out, we will be forced to launch an agitation against the state government.”

“We are not against the state government evicting illegal occupiers of shamlat land, but this public notice is illegal and will take away our livelihood. We will be giving a representation to the chief minister and minister concerned, failing which we will move the high court,” said Bhigandi sarpanch Pal Singh.

What collector says

Collector, panchayat, Amardeep Singh Bains said: “For the past one year, the case was going on under Section 7 of the Panchayat Land Act, and now we have issued the notice under Section 11 to decide whether the land is owned by the private individuals or is shamlat land. They have to file their reply on May 24 before their claims can be taken up.”

Panchayats minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal had on April 26 set a three-month deadline to remove encroachments from panchayat land in the state. Meanwhile, Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari said that several people from the five affected villages in Majri have met him regarding the issue and he would be taking it up with the chief minister.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Hillary Victor is a Principal Correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation and all political parties.

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