Dalit cooperative society tries to take over its land in Rapar, ‘encroachers resist’

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |

October 14, 2020 1:38:27 am

Revenue Circle Inspector in Rapar, Nikulsinh Vaghela (in white), at Jessa village in Rapar taluka, Kutch, Tuesday. (Express photo)

The Rapar taluka Anusuchit Jati Samudayik Kheti Sahkari Mandali Limited (RTAJSKSML), a cooperative of Dalits of Rapar taluka in Kutch, attempted to take possession of some parcels of land allotted to it in Jesda village around three decades ago but faced resistance from alleged encroachers on Tuesday.

Accompanied by Rapar revenue circle inspector Nikulsinh Vaghela and policemen, members of RTAJSKSML went to Jesda village to take possession of the land with survey No.113/1, 333/2/2, 226/1 and 269/3/1. However, persons who are cultivating these lands reportedly refused to give up possession.

“Our representatives told the encroachers that the plots belong to the Mandali and that they should vacate it or face legal proceedings. However, the encroachers didn’t budge despite revenue officers telling them that the plots belongs to our Mandali. To resolve the issue peacefully, we have decided to give the encoachers some more time,” RTAJSKSML president Ramji Bhadru said.

Bhadru said that land bearing Survey No.113/1 has been encroached by Baldevsinh Jadeja, 333/2/2 by Lahman Rabari, 246/1 by Bharatsinh Jadeja and 269/3/1 by Ajitsinh Jadeja. “Crops are standing on these lands at present and therefore, we aren’t taking any harsh action now. But we have asked members of our Mandali to form local committees to claim possessions of land encroached by others,” he said.

RTAJSKSML was allotted 2,850 acres of land by the state government in the 1980s for community farming. These plots in 42 villages of Rapar taluka were declared surplus by the state government under the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act. Around 700 Dalits of Rapar taluka are members of the RTAJSKSML who were allotted the land for farming. The Mandali started getting actual possession of its land only since 2018 and so far gained around 500 acres.

Rapar Mamlatdar HG Prajapati said the administration is trying to resolve the issue peacefully. “We have already facilitated the Mandali to claim possession of five land parcels in Trambo village and will continue to do so in other villages,” he said.

Rapar police said no untoward incident was reported. “Identifying a plot, demarcating it and handing it over to their rightful owners is the revenue department’s job . Our role is to ensure that law and order is maintained,” said Rapar police inspector GL Chaudhary.

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