Punjab Congress protests against Modi over Kutch Sikh farmer issue
New Delhi: On a day Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the city, Punjab Congress held a demonstration outside Gujarat Bhavan here "to expose" the BJP leader over the issue of alleged discrimination and injustice to Sikh farmers in Kutch region.
Led by state PCC Chief Partap Singh Bajwa, the party demanded that Gujarat government withdraw its appeal filed in the Supreme Court against the Gujarat High Court`s decision in favour of Sikh farmers facing displacement from their land holdings in the Kutch region.
The Punjab Congress also wrote a letter to Modi, alleging that the Sikh farmers in Kutch district of Gujarat had been asked to go back to Punjab after they were declared non-agriculturists on account of "flawed interpretation" of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Land (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Act 1958 by his government officials.
Bajwa claimed that the official letter issued by the office of the District Collector of Kutch on October 22, 2010 instructing the Tehsildars to freeze the agricultural accounts of all the farmers who in their opinion are "prima facie" outsiders from the state of Gujarat is by its "very intent and nature discriminatory and arbitrary."
In the letter, Bajwa said that after 1965 war with Pakistan, former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri had "invited farmers from the undivided Punjab to come and settle in Kutch hoping that the Sikh farmers would make the land cultivable and help in guarding the country`s border."
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