Friday, August 12, 2011


Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionLeaders of 17 farmers' & Khet Mazdoor organisations stting on the stage and Sukhdev Singh Kokri General Secretary BKU (Ugrahan) addressing.

Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionMartyr Surjit Singh Hamidi

Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionPeople coming to attend Shardhanjli Samagam

Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionA view of the stage

Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionA view of the participants

Govindpura, Punjab: Resolve to resist forcible land acquisitionWomen, who have been in the fore-front in the struggle at Gobindpura, came in large numbers to join the Shardhanjali Samagam


A SHARDHANJLI SAMAGAM was held on 11th August, in memory of Surjit Singh Hamidi, a member of BKU (Ugrahan), who laid down his life, facing brutal lathi-charge by the police at village Kot Dunne on 2nd August 2011, while protesting against forcible acquisition of land of Gobindpura, at his native village Hamidi in Distt Sangrur of Punjab.

On the call of BKU Ugrahan & BKU Dakonda, nearly 20,000 farmers, agri-labourers, employees and other sections of the people participated in it and paid homage to the martyr. It was addressed by the leaders of all 17 organizations, involved in this struggle.

Despite severe restrictions and police barricades, a large number of people from Gobindpura village also participated. An interesting feature of this programme was that most of the Gobindpura farmers, who had accepted the compensation cheques in respect of their acquired land too came and demanded cancellation of notification acquiring 880 acres of land for Indiabulls power plant, thus belying the claim of Akali Dal Badal leaders that the farmers have consented the acquisition of their lands .

The participants vowed to fight decisively against forcible land acquisition and hold massive Dharna in front of the office of D.C. Mansa from 22.8.2011, by the people of Malwa region. Simultaneously in Majha & Doaba region, the farmers' and Khet Mazdoor organizations shall hold dharna in front of the offices of their respective Deputy Commissioners.

Punjab Govt has acquired 806 Acres of land of Gobindpura village, (which has a total of 1458 acre land) for a private sector thermal power plant, leaving behind just 652 acres. Even out of this 652 acres, 140 acres have lost canal water irrigation facility, and access from either side. Gobindpura is a small village in Mansa Districts of Punjab having a population of about 2500, out of which 40 percent belong to Scheduled Caste agricultural laborers and Backward Classes. Although Punjab Govt has declared that lands are not to be acquired without the farmers’ consent and multi-crop yielding lands are not to be acquired at all, but the entire land acquired at Gobindpura is irrigated, fertile and multi-crop yielding. More than 90 percent of the farmers are unwilling to give their lands. With this acquisition, 62 families of the village have become landless. Another 123 families have been left with very small holdings.

Besides the farmers, families of 14 Dalit agricultural laborers have also been adversely affected. The houses in which they were living for the last many decades have been acquired for this project, rendering them homeless. No compensation has been paid to them as the land on which their houses were constructed was not in their name.

Compensation ranging from Rs. 23.23 lakhs to Rs.23.77 lakh per acre, including displacement allowances and no litigation incentive etc has been announced, while before the issue of 1st notification in October 2010, the prevailing price of un-irrigated (Barani) land in this village was Rs. 11 lakhs/acre and Rs. 15 lakhs per acre for irrigated land. There is no provision for providing employment to the project affected families in the Rehabilitation Policy. In fact the Govt has not announced any Relief & Rehabilitation policy for these people.

A few influential Akali leaders, property dealers, Banks, Agriculture Service Societies, Commission Agents, and Automobile and Arms dealers are the beneficiary of this project and the land acquisition. The Banks, Agriculture Service Societies and Commission Agents have got their outstanding loans against the farmers recovered from the amount of compensation paid to them. To induce the farmers to accept compensation cheques, the administration used all possible tactics, including grant of Arms Licence. A large number of fire-arm licences were issued in the village, in a short span of a few weeks.

Establishing of six thermal power plants in a radius of 50-60 Kms of Bathinda, has raised environmental concerns also, due to wide prevalence of cancer in the region. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s own wife, Smt Surinder Kaur Badal also died of cancer, although more than Rs.4 crores were spent from State exchequer on her treatment in India and abroad. Thousands others are not so fortunate. They are dying without getting any assistance from the state for treatment. In this Malwa region of Punjab, two thermal power plants already exist at Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat in public sector. Now a 2640 MW thermal plant is under construction at Banawali (Mansa District). Besides Gobindpura, two more thermal plants are to come-up at Kotshamir 1320 MW (Bathinda Distt) and Gidderbaha 2640 MW (Mukatsar Distt). It will cause environmental catastrophe in the already heavily polluted region.

There have been corruption & nepotism in the process of award of this power project, without calling open tenders, to a little known Poena Power Company, a subsidiary of Indiabulls Infrastructure, having very little or no experience in power sector.Under the SAD-BJP regime in Punjab, corruption is rampant at all levels. There have been numerous instances where political bigwigs have got included themselves as partners in upcoming projects, without contributing anything or have got fat commissions.

The private firm setting up the project, Poena Power, is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Indiabulls Power. Foreign investors own 32.8 per cent of Indiabulls Power; another 58.8 per cent is held by Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd (IBREL). Foreign investors hold 51.6 per cent of IBREL. Thus the effective foreign shareholding in Indiabulls Power is 63 per cent.

N.K.JEET Advocate
Advisor, Lok Morcha Punjab


  1. a timely article, detailed presentation of different aspects...well done

  2. Sorry,for late entry,but i wish to pay homage to this great martyr,Surjit Hamadi,who laid down his life for the emancipation of humanity.His martyrdom is a like red flame lit in the emancipation of the peasantry from the wrath of the enemy -ruling class Forces.A truly historic gathering held to combat the iron forces of oppression.The unity of forces has great significance and is a stepping stone towards the building of a stronger movement. May comrade Hamadi's name be written in red letters.