Chandigarh, January 10
Concerned over reports of eviction faced by 500 Sikhs from a scheduled tribal block in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday decided to send a fact finding delegation to ascertain the facts of the matter and ensure that the evacuees are not rendered homeless or otherwise harassed.
Captain Amarinder conveyed his decision to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, with whom he spoke on telephone to discuss the issue.
The delegation will be led by Punjab Revenue Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar and MLAs Kuldpeep Vaid and Harminder Singh Gill. They will be accompanied by Deepinder Singh, IAS, Commissioner Patiala Division; Capt Karnail Singh, Director Land Records; and Narinder Singh Sangha Revenue Consultant, according to an official spokesperson.
During his talk with his MP counterpart, the Punjab Chief Minister requested the former to make alternate arrangements for the settlement of these 500 Sikhs. If it was not possible to rehabilitate them in the same area where they had been living for the past two decades, due to tribal land protections and laws, then alternate land should be provided for their resettlement, Captain Amarinder told his Madhya Pradesh counterpart.
Kamal Nath assured Amarinder that his government would do everything possible to ensure that the Sikhs get their due and are not subjected to any harassment, said the spokesperson.
The problem has occurred as a result of the MP government’s current drive against mafia and encroachments. The MP government says these Sikhs had been illegal occupants of land in the notified tribe block in Karahal tehsil of Sheopur district, but the Sikhs, originally hailing from Punjab and Haryana, have denied the charges of illegally occupying the land and say that they had purchased the land, including agricultural plots, back in the nineties.