Rural Workers’ Struggle for Land, Wage and Dignity

The AIARLA and CPIML organised a protest sit-in on 4 Oct at Madhavpur block of Madhubani on a 9-point charter of demands which included a survey of landless families and allotment of 5 decimal land to each of them for homestead, action against a Mahant who implicated dalits in a false case, 200 days of work and Rs. 600 per day wage under MGNREGA, Old age pension minimum at Rs 3000 pm and 200 units of free electricity. 

The protest was attended by hundreds of rural poor and addressed by Kameshwar Ram, CPIML district secretary Dhrub Narayan Karn, Uttim Paswan and many others. 

AIARLA Protest in Gaya

All India Agricultural and Rural Labour Association organised a demonstration on 6 Oct in Khijarsarai block in Gaya with their demands of land for homestead, stop on demolition drive on homes of poor and regularisation of lands where poor are living for many years. CPIML district secretary Niranjan Kumar addressed the protestors where he criticised district officials for bulldozing homes of many poor without any alternate rehabilitation. He said that hundreds of families living for years at the bank of a nearby river have been evicted and their huts have been burnt down by the administration. The police in this case were also accompanied by sand and land mafia elements who have vested interests on this piece of land. A demand letter in this regard was submitted to the land reforms officer through this protest. 

Lack of Civic Amenities

People in Tajpur municipality in Samastipur district held a demonstration demanding waiver of taxes for at least ten years for the poor who cannot afford to pay. Moreover, the Nagar Parishad has never provided any substantial service in return. The protest held on 7 Oct was led by CPIML block secretary Surendra Prasad Singh. He demanded immediate construction of drains, water supply, cleanliness, street lights, uninterrupted electricity supply as well as protection from diseases and mosquitoes. These are minimum civic amenities which should be provided by the municipality. He also demanded land for the homeless and regularisation of lands. The protesters submitted a 17-points demand charter to the concerned official. 

Reclaim and Redistribute Thousands of Acres of Illegally Occupied Land to Landless

The CPIML has been demanding for a long time to demarcate government lands for redistribution among landless poor. This demand also includes provision of minimum 5 decimal land for every  homeless poor family. Recently the Bihar government has accepted that more than 8 lakh acres of government land is under illegal occupation.  Most of it is actually occupied by upper caste dominant people. Huge tracts of land are also under illegal occupation of powerful math and temples. The Supreme Court had also asked the state government to identify and demarcate such illegal occupants. 

In Madhubani district alone there are 35,187 illegal occupations which could have been redistributed to the deserving landless poor. CPIML leader Dhruv Narayan Karn in Madhubani has said in a statement that thousands of acres of land in the district has not been freed from the illegal occupations of feudal forces, land-mafia and dominant people because of corruption and anti-poor political nexus. Moreover, many such lands are now ‘legalised’ by illegally acquiring fake paper through concerned government offices. The 60% people in this district are landless who should have been allotted these lands. He says the Party's campaign for land to the landless will continue and the Mahagathbandhan government ought to implement the demand of 5 decimal land for homestead which is the least. 

Ensure Pensions for Old Age, Disabled and Widows

AIARLA has demanded from the government to ensure a minimum of Rs. 3000 per month pension for the old age, disabled and widows. AIARLA leader Jainarayan Yadav said that people are holding indefinite protest sit-in for many days on this issue as well as for the guarantee of homestead land to all.