Second rally for strict land, domicile laws in Uttarakhand held at Haldwani
Pithoragarh, Jan 28
A massive rally under the banner of Uttarakhand Mool Niwas Swabhiman Samanvya Samiti by several social and youth organisations of Uttarakhand was held at Haldwani today. It was the second rally being organised by the Samiti to demands strict land and domicile comical laws in the state. The first such rally was held at capital city of Dehradun on December 24 where several thousand people from all over the state participated to demand strict land laws and cut off date of January 26, 1950 for grant of domicile certificate for determination of eligibility for jobs and other opportunities in the state.
The protestors alleged that lenient land laws in the past 23 years after the formation of the state has led to large scale sale of agricultural land depriving locals of their ancestral lands and failure of the respective state government in protecting the interests of the locals in state government jobs due to lack of domicile law. They further alleged that a large number of people from outside and adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh have got permanent residence in Uttarakhand and are getting the benefits of jobs.
” We demand enactment of a strict land law by state government on the lines of Article 371 of the Constitution to protect the land the agriculture lands of the locals on the lines of Himachal Pradesh and declare cut off date of January 26, 1950 for domicile certificate,”said Lusun Todaria, a member of Mool Niwas Swabhiman Samanvwaya Sangharsh Samiti, and one of the coordinators of the rally.
A total of 200 social political and cultural organisations have supported the rally.”Besides the participants from these organisations, volunteers from Nainital, Almora, Bageshwar, Champwat, US Nagar and Pithoragarh also participated in the rally, ” claimed said Todariya. The massive rally was organised on a three kilometer long route starting from Bhudh Park to Hira nagar.
The local administration has made elaborate security arrangement with heavy police presence to maintain law and order in the city as traffic was also diverted from the routes where the rally passed.
“After formation of Uttarakhand state in the year 2000, the respective governments in the state have equated the original inhabitants of hills with those settled from outside after 1950 and modified land laws of state according to their needs rather than the needs of local people,” alleged Shobha Gairola, a supporter of the rally.
The organisers of rally said that it was a second uprising in hills after the movement of a separate hill state of Uttarakhand in the 90’s.”The sense of identity and feeling of exploitation by the political class of the people and the resources of the state has led to this movement,” said Vinay Kirola, a social activist from Almora.
The organisers claimed that besides the local participants from hill districts of Kumaon region, the diaspora of Uttarakhand from across the country has also participated in both the rallies. “In future, we will organise such rallies in Gairsain, Almora , Bageshwar and other cities of Kumaon region to communicate with the people of the dangers surrounding their identities as ‘Mool Niwasi’ ( original inhabitants) of the hills,” said Todariya.