Sunday, September 25, 2011

[ZESTCaste] BSP MLA ‘imprisons’ dalits on their own land

BSP MLA 'imprisons' dalits on their own land
Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, Sep 24, DHNS:

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ministers and legislators appear to have
developed a penchant for ''cremation lands.'' Of late, many of them
have been found to be illegally grabbing lands meant for cremating
bodies and using them for a variety of purposes.

BSP legislator Rajbali Jaisal has allegedly occupied a dalit hamlet at
Sansarpur village in Allahabad district, about 300 km from here, and
has got a boundary wall constructed around it virtually converting the
hamlet into a prison confining scores of dalits, who have been given
"pattas" (allotment) of the land by the government. The land is
situated next to a degree college owned by the MLA and now the latter
wants to expand the college.

"The MLA deployed hundreds of labourers and got a boundary wall
constructed around the hamlet making it a part of the college," said
village "pradhan" Shakuntala Devi.

To add insult to the displaced dalits' injuries, the MLA has now
offered them the nearby cremation land. "We are now being asked to
settle on the land, where people burn bodies," said Duasia, a dalit
widow who was also among those "imprisoned" by the legislator. The
dalits had offered resistance when the boundary was coming up on their
land but they were threatened with dire consequences if they raised
their voice. "The residents of the hamlet are being threatened and
asked to leave their homes or face the consequences," she added. The
MLA appears to be defiant. "I have offered to settle them on another

I will make sure that they get government help in getting their house
constructed or else I will provide them financial assistance for it,"
he said but refused to explain the construction of the boundary wall
around the hamlet. BSP legislator Horam Singh had also grabbed
cremation land in Bulandshahar district and is getting a marriage hall
constructed on it. The land, situated at Kilamewai village in the
district, belongs to the Gram Sabha.

Before him, minister of religious affairs Rajesh Tripathi had also
illegally occupied government land meant for cremation in Gorakhpur
district, and constructed a marriage hall next to it.

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