Haryana law amended to allow farmers to keep possession of land

While amending the law to allow continued possession of farm land to about 3700 farmers who faced eviction, the Haryana Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution appealing to the Gujarat Government to stop the process of displacement farmers of Punjab and Haryana origin from the Rann of Kutch.

Speaking on the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2013, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that lease to farmers, who were in continuous cultivating possession of their lands till September 24, 1986, in various villages near Pehowa town in Kurukshetra district had been extended for 99 years. He recalled that the lessees, most of who had been uprooted during the 1947 partition of the country, were settled there at the behest of the then Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon when Haryana was part of united Punjab. After receiving the lease for 20 years, these farmers overcame hardships to convert hostile stretches into cultivable and arable land and contributed in the drive to make India self-sufficient in food grains’ requirements. However, these farmers faced displacement following court orders after the lapse of the lease period.

Haryana Finance Minister H.S. Chatha, who represents Pehowa constituency, recalled that during the tenure of the Indian National Lok Dal government headed by Om Prakash Chautala, the administration had forcibly dispossessed most of the farmers, razed their houses, destroyed their tubewells and forcibly harvested their crop.

Mr. Hooda said that similarly, on the request of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, many farmers from Punjab and some parts of now Haryana, purchased land in the Kutch region of Gujarat after the first Indo-Pakistan war. He said that these farmers, who had purchased land, were now being dispossessed despite they having won the suit in Gujarat High Court. Mr. Hooda appealed to his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi to follow Haryana in allowing the farmers the possession of their lands.

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