Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Repression in the Punjab in Patiala’s Charason and Balberah Villages - Free Dr Darshan Pal

Press Statement

Police Let Loose Oppression in Patiala’s Charason and Balberah Villages on Peasants

Two villagers injured in Firing,

About Two Dozen injured in Cane charge,

All Distt. Leadership including Distt. President Dr. Darshan pal arrested.

Today hundreds of policemen with police officials accompanied the higher officials of panchayat and development department and revenue officials and other state officials to wrest land from the peasants who have been cultivating it for the last four to five decades. 

The police suddenly descended on the village in great numbers to forcibly take possession of the lands of poor peasants without informing the elected panchayat and people of the village as usually is the norm.

The police resorted to firing and lathicharge when a large crowd of people from Balberah and Charason villages and adjoining villages assembled to resist acquisition. The injured includes women too. The police attacked people two times in a span of one and half an hour. The resistance of the people continued for about two hours. 

The development officials earlier have come to these villages twice but they went back when large number of people resisted but were forced by the people to return empty handed.. Now for the third time they came quietly to take control of about 140 acres of land. The people allege that the police resorted to violence even when there was no provocation from the side of the people. The police not only used bullets rubber bullets and water cannon but also made use of live cartridges. While this report is being filed the clash between the people and the police is still going on. 

The police are hunting down and dragging people from various tube wells in the area and mercilessly beating them.

Police has also destroyed dozens of motorcycles belonging to the people. This kind of behavior of the state forces is a normal thing while the state wants to people booked for damaging  public or private peoperty.

Lies at the heart of this incident is the decision of the Punjab government to wrest village common lands which the people have claimed through hard labor of decades making it fit for cultivation.

Now as the lands have started producing grains and providing livelihood to the people who have worked on it the government has decided to take it back violating all the rules and regulations about these lands. 

This is the easier way for the government to acquire lands as the lands under ownership of the peasants is far more difficult to acquire. The people on the other hand demand that they be made owners of these lands as their forefathers have worked on them for decades and made these fit for producing crops. The people depend on these lands for their lives as this is the only source of income for them.

The people had thwarted previous two attempts by the administration to take control of these lands. But this time the police and officials descended on the village like a blitzkriegs and started attacking the people without any provocation.

The people are being led by the Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) in their fight back.

State Committee of BKU, .Ekta (Dakaunda) has taken a very serious notice of the oppressive attitude of Patiala administration. 

Condemning this incident of high handedness of Patiala Police, state president Buta Singh Burajgill, Senior Vice President Manjit Singh Dhaner, State General Secretary Jagmohan Singh and State fince secretary Ram Singh Matorarah and District President Dr. Darshan Pal has warned the state government and the Patiala administration to face the wrath of the people of Punjab and of serious consequences, if the farmers who have re claimed the land are not given the ownership rights.

(Issued by Dr. Darshan Pal
Disrict President

Dr. Darshan Pal was arrested late in the evening.

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