Dalits in Punjab's Sangrur Demand Lease of Shamlat Land at Reduced Rate

Reported by

Damandeep SinghLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Tolewal

Sangrur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

Land auction

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

2

ha

Starting Year

2019

State

Punjab

Sector

Land Use

On June 8, 2019, the village assembly of Tolewal in Sangrur district passed a resolution to lease out 5.25 acres of reserved land, or shamlat land, to the Dalit community for cultivation at an annual rate of INR 500 per acre for 33 years. But the Block Development Panchayat Office (BDPO) that conducts the annual auction of shamlat lands rejected the resolution. The BDPO insisted on the auction at the usual rate of INR 20,000 per acre for one year. The price of Shamlat lands range from INR 15,000 to INR 20,000, depending on the location. The Dalits claim they cannot afford land at the governments current rate. They also claim that any land on which the village assembly has passed a resolution cannot be auctioned according to the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964. The 1964 Rules do not allow Shamlat land to be given on lease for more than seven years. Even that can be done only under special circumstances. How can we agree to 33-year fixed leases?, financial commissioner and administrative secretary of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat, asked the media. The stalemate is likely to affect the livelihood of Dalit families in Tolewal village. They had planned to cultivate paddy on the land, but the uncertainty over the lease rate and period has delayed the cultivation, and the sowing season is over now. Meanwhile, the auction of the shamlat land is yet to take place. There has been strong opposition from the Zamin Prapti Sangharsh Committee, which protests every time the auction happens. In July 2019, one such protest led to a clash between the Dalits and the upper caste, in which 10 persons were injured and 15 were arrested.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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:

Legal Status:

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)

Case Number

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

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

BDPO (Block Developemnt Panchayat Office)

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:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
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  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Damandeep Singh

Reviewed By

Damandeep Singh

Updated By

Damandeep Singh

Edited By

Damandeep SinghLand Conflict Watch
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