Saturday, December 18, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Loharu land row divides Dalits

Loharu land row divides Dalits

One panchayat backs Dharamvir, the other Cong ex-MLA Somvir Singh
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Loharu (Bhiwani), December 17
Two panchayat meetings were held here simultaneously to resolve the
land dispute between Dharamvir, a Dalit, and Om Prakash, brother of
Somvir Singh, a son-in-law of the late Chief Minister Bansi Lal and a
former Congress legislator.

Only one panchayat was scheduled to be held on the issue but a
division in the local Dalit leadership overnight led to the main
panchayat being organised by Dharamvir at Chungi Number 7 Mohalla's
Harijan Chaupal and the other at Lal Bahadur Shastri Park.

The main panchayat, attended by leaders of all Opposition parties,
asked the district administration to resolve the dispute within two
weeks failing which its representatives would stage a dharna at the
Jantar Mantar in Delhi and meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi to
seek her intervention in the dispute. The other panchayat merely said
that since the matter was subjudiced, none should undermine the
judicial process.

It termed the controversy as an attempt to tarnish the image of Somvir
Singh. This meeting was attended, among others, by Dalit Samaj Kalyan
Sabha chief Mahavir Amirwas and vice-president Dharampal Gignau.
Addressing the main panchayat, Indian National Lok Dal MLA Dharampal
Obra said it was unfortunate that atrocities on Dalits were on the
rise. He said his party would not allow any further exploitation of
the downtrodden. Bahadur Chand Sharma, president of the district unit
of the Haryana Janhit Congress, alleged that Somvir Singh had used his
political influence to get the land registered in the name of his
brother's wife. He also alleged that several revenue officials had
colluded with him to fabricate documents to help him grab land at
several places in the town. INLD's KC Bangar alleged that Congress
leaders had grabbed land at several places in the state by exploiting
loopholes in the revenue records. He said his party would expose such

When Congress leader Brahmanand tried to put across Somvir Singh's
version, the crowd became restive. However, saner elements succeeded
in restoring calm. Brahmanand, who belongs to the Dalit community,
said the panchayat was a "political stunt" and that no wrong had been
done to any Dalit. He claimed he had perused the land record and had
found nothing amiss.

Meanwhile, tension continues to grip the town and heavy police force
has been deployed to maintain peace.

A meeting of the Loharu assembly segment unit of the Congress was held
after the panchayat.

It was chaired by its president Surinder Singh.The meeting alleged
that certain anti-social elements were trying to disturb harmony in
the town.


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