Punjab has about 1.4 lakh acres of shamlat land (village common land) across nearly 8,000 villages. Of this, onethird is reserved for Dalits. Members of the Dalit community in Barnala district have protested against irregularities in the auction of at least 14.5 acres of shamlat land that is reserved for them. The land spans across three villages in the district Pakho Kalan, Dhilwan and Ramgarh. According to the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Rules, 1964, about 33 per cent of shamlat land is reserved for Dalits and can be auctioned only to them. This land is owned by the village panchayat and is mainly used for cultivation. The annual open auction of shamlat land is usually held in April. The Dalits of the three villages alleged that the auction in 2020 was not fair as certain influential people tampered with the auction process. Having been reserved for Dalits, nonDalits are not allowed to take part in the auction. Yet, there were reports of certain nonDalit individuals placing their helpers in the auction process to acquire land. On July 3, 2020, five Dalit youths in Pakho Kalan village protested against the irregularities in the auction for 10 days by climbing atop a water tank. They retreated when Punjab State SC Commission member Raj Kumar Hans visited the village and requested them to call off their protest. He also directed the Barnala subdivisional magistrate to hold a magisterial inquiry into the matter. The district administration declared the earlier auction null and void and cancelled further auctions** **of the shamlat land in these villages till the inquiry is complete.
Complaint against procedural violations, Demand for legal recognition of land rights
Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Land Reform Laws
Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Non-implementation of land-reform laws , Lack of legal protection over land rights
Out of Court
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict: