Punjab dalits protest for increase in lease period of village common land to 33 years
Hundreds of people, including women under the banner of the Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), a dalit and labour outfit, held a protest opposite the district administration complex. Listing their demands, ZPSC chief Mukesh Malaudh said dalits wanted their share of common reserved land in villages on lease for 33 years (not just a year, as is the system now), and quashing of all FIRs against union leaders. One-third of the common land is reserved for Dalits.
Bathinda, Ludhiana and Patran roads from the town remained blocked for three hours with protesters blocking traffic at the Mahavir Chowk.
Malaudh added that the government should distribute entire land above the Ceiling Act in the state and loan of micro-finance companies on labourers should be waived.
“We want a permanent solution of the common reserved land auction as upper castes and dalits clash over this land every year. Dalits are thrashed and police register cases against us when we hold protest,” added Malaudh. Sangrur SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said he had sought a list of FIRs registered against them, adding that the matter would be resolved soon.