Resolving Issue of Forcible Occupation of Land of Dalits: Rescuing the Dispossessed from Taking a Violent Path

The problem of dispossession of the Dalits, the tribal and weaker sections from their land by village strong men is a major reason for the armed struggle and its spread in such areas. There are hundreds of thousands of cases in Bihar and Jharkhand of such dispossession including even from the land donated to them during Boodan (Land Gift) movement of Acharya Vinoba in the sixties. In villages Pavaha, Matiyari, and Bishnupur in Birpur block of Arariya district of Bihar about 100 acres of land belonging to about 90 Maha Dalit families was since long occupied by village strong men. It is a sad commentary on the post movement administration that even after 3 generations have passed mutation of the gifted land has not been accomplished in the names of donees, making it easy for the unscrupulous to dispossess them from their land. This is problem is one of the major reasons for the spread of Maoism.  Being on the India-Nepal border, this area is most vulnerable. Sri Pancham as a Gandhi Shanti Mitra is engaged since October 2013 in these villages. He got mutation done, held several talks with the occupiers, held community meetings and undertook dialogue on unity of village community and justice to the Dalits. As a result a process of release of such land has finally begun and some more land was given back during August 2014 too.