Hold talks on land buy, Rajagopal tells Centre

PATNA: National Land Reforms Council (NLRC) member and Ekta Parishad chairman P V Rajagopal, who has embarked on a nationwide Jan Satyagrah Samvad Yatra (JSSY) to assess and articulate popular demand on land-related matters, said on Sunday that the Centre should hold dialogue with JSSY before taking any decision on land acquisition policy issues.

According to him, in line with the liberalization policy, land was being acquired indiscriminately both by government agencies and industrial investors themselves, which had resulted in displacement of people on a large scale in different parts of the country and several other consequential problems.

“Big farmers protest against land acquisition to seek higher compensation, but the poor and tribals are agitated over it because they are getting deprived of the very basis of their material and cultural existence,” Rajagopal said, adding that 40% of the displaced people are tribals, fishermen and dalits.

Rajagopal said that his JSSY would culminate in a march of around one lakh people to Delhi from Gwalior from October 2 this year to send out a clear-cut signal to the Centre that restoration of communication between the government and the affected people was the need of the hour, and any unilateral decision regarding framing of land acquisition policy would amount to violation of human rights, leading to unsavoury fallouts.

Asked if Ekta Parishad could decide to enter electoral fray during the 2014 parliamentary elections, Rajagopal said, “At present, I cannot say anything on it. But whatever happens after our march to Delhi from Gwalior later this year and the outcome of the talks with the Centre on the solution to our demands would decide our future course of action. Basically, we are questioning the developmental process that has started after liberalization of our country’s economy.”

Rajagopal said that a five-member committee, including former senior police official from Bihar, Ram Chandra Khan, Bihar Khadi Gramodyog Board chairman Tripurari Sharan and a Patna high court lawyer, has been set up to probe into the detention and deportation of French nationals from Nawada in the state.

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