Haryana Footballers led Hunger Strike to Reclaim their Playground in Ghamroj Village

Reported by

Damandeep Singh

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018

Updated on

April 25, 2018

Location of Conflict

Ghamroj

Gurugram

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

100

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Haryana

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In 2018, Haryana's Forest Department and Football players and villagers of Ghamroj village of Gurugram, contested over a piece of 2 acre land. Forest Department argued that land belongs to them while footballers contended that it is owned by the village panchayat. Subsequently, in February that year, forest officials tried to plant trees on the ground to reclaim it as forest land, but were opposed by the villagers. Officials said since this land comes under forest area, they would continue to treat it as forest land. Meanwhile, the youngsters, supported by their families in the village held several protests demanding the access to the land. Sunsequently, the villagers held a mahapanchayat after the ground was taken over by the forest department. In the mahapanchayat it was decided the field belongs to the village and it will be used as a playground. Ghamroj has recently emerged as a budding nursery for Indian football, having produced several national-level players, including 10 who have played for different professional clubs across the country in the I-League. Footballers of Ghamroj complained that forest officials came without prior notice and planted trees in and around their playing field. Footballers have sit on hunger strike and villagers have decided to take the matter to supreme court if forest department continue to plant trees on land.

In April 2018, Haryana government offered another land as alternative playground for the village and started developing it.
In July 2019, the High court dismissed CWP No. 20233 of 2019 filed by the footballers, noting that S. 4 of the PLPA was applicable to the disputed land. The high court also noted that a Gram Panchayat had met on 01.05.2018 and resolved that the disputed land could not be used as a playground because of a nearby hanuman mandir and a mountain. Instead, the panchayat passed a resolution allotting alternate space for the playground/field.

As of August 2021, the proposed football ground was not constructed as there has been a dispute between villagers and gram panchayat department over the new piece of land.

Mahesh Kumar of the village told Land Conflict Watch that the dispute over the land allotted for the ground was not resolved. "As the village panchayats were also not functional since March 2021 as the tenure of the sarpanches is over, it is adding to further delay," he said.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for better access to common land/resources

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900
Section 3: State Government has the power to notify areas where it is desirable to provide for the conservation of sub-soil water or the prevention of erosion; Section 4 and 5: State government has the power to restrict certain activity in notified areas, such as felling of trees.
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2: Restriction on use of forest land by state governments for non-forest purposes
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Land record discrepancies

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Case Number

CWP No. 20233 of 2019; CWP 25039 of 2018; COCP-366-2019

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

In July 2019, the High court dismissed CWP No. 20233 of 2019 filed by the footballers, noting that S. 4 of the PLPA was applicable to the disputed land. The high court also noted that a Gram Panchayat had met on 01.05.2018 and resolved that the disputed land could not be used as a playground because of a nearby hanuman mandir and a mountain. Instead, the panchayat passed a resolution allotting alternate space for the playground/field.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Artistic and creative actions (theatre, murals, art, music etc)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Hunger strike

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department, Haryana Government, Ghamroj Panchayat

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?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Villagers

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
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