10 July 2011

Kulpi: Letter To District Magistrate

[Below is the letter that PBKMS sent to the South 24 Parganas District Magistrate, N.S.Nigam, in West Bengal on July 8, 2011, about land grab by private agents in Kulpi]

Thank you for talking to members of Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity yesterday to get a first-hand account of the problems that they are facing in Belpukur GP of Kulpi block due to forcible acquisition of their land. As requested by you yesterday, we have prepared a note on the problems there, which is enclosed for your information and action.

To state the problem in brief, about 500 acres of land in Kulpi block are being bought up a number of companies who are patently fraudulent. It is rumoured that a ship building yard is to come up there. However, there is no transparency on this matter with even the local MLA being in the dark. There has been no consultation with the local people on this project, even though their lives and livelihood are being affected adversely by this acquisition. Who are the actual owners of the land and the implementers of this project also remains clouded in mystery.

To further aggravate matters, in Rangaphala and Tangrarchar mouzas the land purchasers are using a number of middlemen, many of them anti-socials and are using force and threats to take land from unwilling sellers. In addition, a number of cases of cheating actual owners and heirs have been there, including fraudulent purchase of land of poor pattadars. Registered bargadars and owners have also been underpaid.

About 2000 fish workers are also being deprived their access to the river front and the river by the purchasers. They are losing their livelihood and facing destitution. A similar fate is facing unregistered bargadars, landless agricultural workers and small farmers who used to take this land on lease. No compensation is being paid to them though they are losing their livelihood due to the land being purchased and fenced off.

We request your intervention in this matter, especially as the area is now quite tense, with the purchasers and their agents using threats and physical force against those who are protesting about the illegal and forcible land purchase. 

Related post: Private land grab

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