Tarlochan Singh urges PM to help Sikh farmers in state
Tarlochan Singh, former chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, on Friday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's help in ensuring that Sikh farmers in Haryana were not "ousted" by the state government, following the end of their 50-year lease for tilling.delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2013 19:08 IST
Tarlochan Singh, former chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, on Friday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's help in ensuring that Sikh farmers in Haryana were not "ousted" by the state government, following the end of their 50-year lease for tilling.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, he urged him to step in and convince the state government against ousting them.
"We are thankful to you for showing concern for the Sikh farmers in Gujarat, who, after 50 years of farming, have been ousted," Tarlochan wrote.
"The plight of Sikh farmers in Haryana is much more serious and painful. You remember sir, when you visited Pehowa during an election tour, this particular case of the Sikh farmers in that area was brought to your notice and you, very graciously, announced that they will not be ousted and the Haryana chief minister will take necessary action to protect their rights," he wrote.
Tarlochan said 3,500 Sikh families in Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts, who were occupying and tilling the land for the past 55 years, have been ousted forcibly.
"As you are aware, on the advice of the central government, Sikh farmers were given barren lands on lease for making them fully fertile in Uttar Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar, Haryana and Gujarat," he explained.
"After the expiry of lease in Haryana, the Sikh farmers were forcibly told to quit. For years, they were fighting in court, and ultimately the Supreme Court decided that legally they can't be owner of that land, but the Haryana government shall make provisions to allow them to cultivate the lands," said Tarlochan, who is also a senior sports administrator.
"I may bring to your notice that only last month at Krah Sahib village, Sikhs were made landless with the help of police. Some villages where the Sikhs are still occupying the land, the authorities have cut the power supply to harass them," he said.
He said: "But, these poor farmers are denied protection under the existing law that says that any farmer who has been occupying the land for 15 years cannot be ousted. But, these farmers, who were there for 50 years, are not being given any help."
"I request you to kindly advise the Haryana government to show magnanimity to those who have turned barren land into to a prosperous and fertile area," he added.