Press Release: Administration responds, cattle rally postponed

Jameen Adhikar Andolan – Gujarat (JAAG) 

Administration responds positively: Cattle rally by Maldharis from village Hansalpur to Gandhinagar postponed

Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari of JAAG (Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat) and Azad Vikas Sangathan have in a statement to the press stated that:

The Maruti Suzuki Company had been given land in village Hansalpur. In 1954, the then government, had allotted this land to the Maldharis, the Dalits and the Thakores of the village who were landless. This land has also been ‘given’ away by the government to Maruti Suzuki Co. This was done without taking the affected families into confidence or initiating any talks with them. Moreover the village wasteland had also been given away to Maruti Co. leaving very little grazing land for the Maldharis of the villages, raising a serious issue of their livelihood and sustenance. Cattle-rearing was rendered extremely difficult for them. Hence, under the leadership of JAAG and Azad Vikas Sangathan, the Maldharis decided to undertake a cattle rally from village Hansalpur to Gandhinagar in October 2013 and to hand over their cattle to the government for their care. They were to start on the 23rd morning and reach Gandhinagar on 26th noon. The announcement of the rally has again stirred the administration and the Collector of Ahmedabad district met the Maldharis of Hansalpur today, 22nd October 2013.

The main demands of the Maldharis are:

Transfer the titles of the lands given to the Dalits, Maldharis and Thakores in 1954 to their name.

Implement the Gujarat state rule and norm for maintaining the ratio of grazing land to the cattle population of the village and allot adequate land for grazing purpose.
The land given to Maruti Suzuki Co. be processed under the new Right to Fair Compensation &Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013 since it is going to be applied post-facto from 2013.
The residential houses and other buildings on survey nos. 293 and others be kept as is and be handed over to the title holders after due process.
Secure the roads and paths leading to the agricultural fields and grazing lands for our safe passage.
Allocate gamtal land with provision for the next 25 years.

The Collector has assured the villagers that he would represent their demands to the appropriate authority and also assured them of a positive outcome. After this meeting the Maldharis have decided to postpone their cattle rally scheduled for tomorrow 23rd October and await the government’s decision. If the outcome is not to their satisfaction, then they will hold the cattle rally afresh at a later date.

Lalji Desai Sagar Rabari
Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)


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