West Bengal Government Starts Returning Land Illegally Acquired from Kawakhali Farmers

Reported by

Mitali BiswasLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 5, 2021

Location of Conflict


Thiknikata and Porajhar villages


Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year



West Bengal



On the outskirts of Siliguri, where a proposed township was to come up, 52 land owners from Kawakhali village are demanding their land back from the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA), a subsidiary organisation under the West Bengal government. In 2005, the SJDA had acquired 302 acres of land in Thiknikata, Kawakhali and Porajhar villages. At the time of the acquisition, 52 of 1,700 land owners had refused to give away their land, but their land was forcefully acquired. The dissenting land owners, farmers by occupation, declined the compensation offered and organised protests to mobilise support to win back their land. According to them, the authorities used misleading tactics and took away their land by terming it fallow. On November 27, 2017, the Press Trust of India reported that the state had decided to return the land back to all 52 land owners.  On May 16, 2019, LCW contacted the SJDA via telephone for an update and was directed to the executive engineer, who said that the process of returning the land had got delayed but had started. When asked about the number of people who had received their land so far, they were unable to give a clear number. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations, Refusal to give up land for the project

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

November, 2017

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws

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

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches, Refusal of compensation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Left goverment, Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA)

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:

Trinamul Congress

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Mitali Biswas

Reviewed By

Mitali Biswas

Updated By

Mitali Biswas

Edited By

Mitali BiswasLand Conflict Watch

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