Hundreds of Dalit families in Masuri Kherwa village in the Banda district are running from pillar to post to save their `home’ as officials have threatened to demolish their houses claiming Yogi’s bulldozers are waiting to free the land on which this colony is being built.
“We have been asked to vacate the village and move to other places. The officials have explicitly said that our houses would be demolished soon,” Chottey Lal, a resident of the village said.
The village is inhabited by Dalits and they have been staying there for over four decades. In a letter given to the officials during Tehsil Diwas in Karwi, Chitrakoot, the villagers claim that they have been living in that village since 1976 and also have the land registered in their names. They even claimed that the villagers were also paying all taxes to Nagar Palika Parishad. As proof, they attached the receipts with the letter.
“Despite our application, the Executive Officers of the Nagar Palika Parishad, Chitrakoot Dham said that the whole colony was being built on government land and this would be demolished,” Chottey Lal said.
The villagers say that the land was initially a nazool land (type of Government land used for nonagricultural purpose), but the process had started to convert it to freehold after a government order. The villagers have even paid money regarding this and have the receipt of that payment.
The said village is adjacent to the Karwi bus stand in Chitrakoot and the government has plans to expand the bus station further.
The villagers argue that their forefathers have been living in that area for over four decades. The land was given to them by the government. Once that village came under Nagar Palika Parishad, they started paying taxes. How can they demolish the houses, they said.
The incident is akin to Prayagraj where the bulldozers of Prayagraj Development Authority demolished the house of Javed Mohammed despite the fact that he had been paying all taxes. He had even initiated the process of compounding and a part of the money was also paid.
The villagers fear that the Banda administration too can go the Prayagraj administration’s way and demolish their colony.
This article first appeared on nationalheraldindia.com