Sikh farmers fight for their land in Kutchch

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 6, 2020

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)






Land Use

Between 1965 and 1984, the Gujarat state government allotted land in Kutchch district to 550 farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Of these, 390 were Sikhs. Kutch being a barren region, bordering Pakistan with human population less than that of cattle, the Gujarat government had, as a matter of policy, invited exservicemen from Punjab and Haryana, largely Sikhs, to settle down here in the aftermath of the 1965 war with Pakistan. Today, more than 6,000 Sikh families are settled in Lakhpat and some territories like Kori Creek and Sir Creek. On October 22, 2010, district collector M Thennarasan issued a notice to 784 farmers that said, Freezing agriculture accounts of outsiders of Gujarat state. The notice stated that as per the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha and Kuchchh Area) Act, 1948, mutation of land on the basis of the existing farmers certificates cannot be done till further orders. Just after freezing land in Kuchchh, in January 2011, the state signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with various cementbased companies to help them set up plants. In 2011, the farmers moved Gujarat High Court. In court, the state government questioned the genuineness of their claim of being farmers. It said there was no machinery to verify the certificates issued by other states which prove the status of a person as an agriculturist. But the court did not buy the state governments argument. The farmers won the case in Gujarat High Court, but the state government went to the Supreme Court against the order. In Jan 2015, Sikh farmers were attacked and seriously injured in an attack allegedly by a group of local farmers in Loria village of Bhuj district. After such attacks, many farmers have returned to their original hometowns in Punjab and Ganganagar after giving their land on contract farming. Though a final decision has not been taken since the matter is subjudice in the Supreme Court, the bonafides of only 52 farmers have been verified and their land has been defreezed.

Region Classification

Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
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Starting Year


Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Gujarat State Government

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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