KATHUA, Feb 20: Demanding restoration of their rights on the land cultivated by them, the farmers of border belt of Ghagwal and Hiranagar held a protest demonstration in front of the office of SDM Hiranagar today and submitted a memorandum to him addressed to Divisional Commissioner Jammu.
The protesters said that they had applied for the ownership rights under Roshni Act years back but the administration adopted a dilly delaying tactics due to which the land could not be transferred on their name which they have been cultivating for over five decades.
Meanwhile Congress also joined the agitation and accused the Government for plight of farmers.
The party said the escalating hardships of public and lackadaisical attitude of the Government towards the redressal of the problems had proved that the State coalition as well as the Union Government had turned Nelsons’ eye towards public. A time was there when Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Government had announced of providing government lands to the farmers who were cultivating the lands from years, under Roshni Act however, the present regime not only failed to give the benefit of Roshni Act to the farmers but is harassing the farmers by grabbing their lands.
This was sated by District Congress Committee president and Ex-MLX Subash Gupta while addressing a press conference held at Hiranagar, today.
Announcing support to the farmers agitation initiated under the banner of Border Welfare Committee Hiranagar at Hiranagar Subash Gupta said that the farmers of Hiranagar especially those residing across the zero line have been facing number of hardships due to the wrong policies of the Government. He added that after the partition of India and Pakistan the people of Jammu converted barren land into agricultural land by spending huge amount of money and hard labour. He added that 90% of the farmers are cultivating the State land and are earning bread and butter from such a land. The Government had already acquired thousands of agricultural land from farmers under Government sponsored schemes like construction of roads, fencing across the border, construction of bunkers and ditches across the border.
However BJP rebuffed the allegation saying the Congress was misleading the farmers. Party spokesman Balbir Ram Rattan said that BJP is fully with farmers and it will watch their interests always.
Accusing Congress he said why party failed in giving ownership rights to farmers during its nine year rule. He said the Roshni Act suffered a huge setback during the Congress rule as a big land scam under the act surfaced which is under the investigation at present.
He said the then opposition parties including BJP demanded that the case be referred to CBI for investigation as in many cases the land was registered in the name of kiths and kin of ministers and leaders.