Chandigarh, Jan 10 (IANS) 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 and ensure that the evacuees are not rendered homeless or otherwise harassed.
Amarinder Singh conveyed his decision to his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Kamal Nath when he spoke on the 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, Commissioner, Patiala Division; Karnail Singh, Director Land Records; and Narinder Singh Sangha, Revenue Consultant, according to an official spokesperson.
During his talk with Kamal Nath, the Punjab Chief Minister requested for alternate arrangements to bemade 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, Amarinder Singh said.
Kamal Nath assured Amarinder Singh 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 Madhya Pradesh government’s current drive against mafia and encroachments.
The Madhya Pradesh government says these Sikhs had been illegal occupants of land in the notified tribal 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 90’s.