Hitesh Chavda, Gandhinagar: Firebrand Dalit-rights activist and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani, along with representatives from the Dalit, Thakor and Muslim communities met chief secretary to state JN Singh on Monday with a memorandum of demands of the community and records of land allotment which the community is yet to receive for more than 30 years.

Mevani, who a few days ago announced a “road-roko” (road-block) protest on April 14 to raise the issue of Dalit and other backward community members not getting land allotted to them in 1984, urged the chief secretary to order the Kutch district collectorate to to hand over possession of allotted land blocks to the Dalit community members of at least two villages on an urgent basis. There are 27 villages in Rapar block, Kutch whose resident Dalit and OBC families were allotted land by the government, but they are yet to receive the possession of the same.

Mevani said, I met the Kutch district collectorate on January 22 this year and spoke about this issue and urged immediate action on the same, but so far nothing has happened and the poor and needy families of the district are still awaiting justice. If at least two villages are handed over possession of their rightful land on an urgent basis, we will call off our road-roko protest at Samakhiali highway.

J.N. Singh, chief secretary, Gujarat Government said, “Government intends to give land to the rightful beneficiaries and the work is under process to allot land by following the legal process and according to the available records. Government is very positive on this issue.”

There are around 5700 acres of land which has not been given to the families of Dalits, Thakor, and the Muslim communities since its allotment in 1984. This road-blocking protest is to be undertaken by Jignesh Mevani, Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, Thakor community, the Muslim community and other organizations supporting the backward communities of the state on April 14, 2018.