Victory for Farmers' Struggle in Bindukhatta

A determined and a protracted movement led by CPI (ML) against the decision to make Bindukhatta in Nainital district in Uttarakhand into a municipality instead of a revenue village, resulted in a historic victory as the state government was forced to take back its decision. The revocation of the decision to make Bindukhatta a municipality is a victory of the farmers’ struggle. The farmers have for three decades been demanding that Bindukhatta be declared a Revenue Village.

In the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of poor landless people organised by CPI(ML) laid claim to the land and redistributed it, thereby ensuring relief from forced migration to other states in search of livelihood. By dint of voluntary labour, they created roads, schools, community halls, play grounds and other civic amenities, facing harassment and police repression. Now Bindukhatta is a relatively prosperous area, though the peasants are yet to be granted formal entitlements to the lands they till.

If Bindukhatta were made a municipality before the formal land transfer takes place, the land of the poor farmers will be counted as Nazool land. This will mean that the farmers will have pay circle rate fees to get the land pattas registered in their name – which they can ill afford. If the land transfer takes place while Bindukhatta remains a village, the land will be counted under Class 4 lands and this will mean that the poor peasants can get the entitlements to their land registered free of cost.

Turning Bindukhatta into a municipality would therefore have meant the danger of an indirect handover of thousands of acres of local peasants’ lands to the land mafia operatives. The ‘municipality’ status would have forced them into an unnecessary tax regime, and endangered their control over their lands.

Ever since Bindukhatta’s people began agitating for it to be declared a revenue village, all political parties have included this demand in their agenda. But after Uttarakhand became a state, successive BJP and Congress governments did not take any initiative for making it a revenue village. Instead, in 2014, the Harish Rawat government broke its promise brazenly and issued an interim notification to make Bindukhatta into a municipality. CPI (ML) and KisanMahasabha started protest against the decision from the very first day.

Now that the Government was forced to roll back its decision after two years of struggle, a victory procession was taken out in Haldwani and a meeting organised on the Car Road.

Addressing the meeting, CPI (ML) leader and Uttarakhand state president of Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha, Comrade PuroshottamSharma termed the revocation of Bindukhatta Muncipality as a victory of the struggle of farmers of this place and called them to stay prepared for larger struggles ahead. He demanded that the state Chief Minister and Labour Minister take back the cases filed against activists and also offer apology to the women and people of Bindukhatta for the oppression and violence unleashed on the struggling women of Bindukhatta. He also remembered the contributions of the departed party leader late Comrade Mansingh Pal. He said the struggle must continue for declaring a Bindukhatta a revenue village.

The meeting was also addressed by the senior party leader Com. Bahadur Singh Jangi and district secretary, Com. Kailash Pandey. Post the meeting, the agitators celebrated by distributing sweets. It was followed by a massive victory procession of people on scooters, motorcycles and cars in the villages of Bindukhatta.


Liberation Archive