Sikh farmers fight for their land in Kutchch

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 6, 2020

Location of Conflict

Loria

Kutch

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

6000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

162

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Gujarat

Sector

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.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Type of Land

Private

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?

When did it end?

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:

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

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Gujarat State Government

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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No Images Available

Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch
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