The recent killing of eleven Gond tribals including three women by a landlord to forcefully occupy his alleged 90 bighas of land has shaken the national conscience.
Landlord Yagyadutt Bhurtiya, who is also the Pradhan of the Umbha Gram Panchayat in Sonbhadra District, Uttar Pradesh (UP), along with his 300 gunned henchmen, ferried in more than 31 tractors, fired on longtime tribal cultivators of the land on July 18, 2019. This incident brings out the need to introspect and re-implement land reform measures in the state.
Bhurtiya had purchased this land two years back from one Mishra family who had in the past managed to get these lands mutated in their names in place of the Adarsh Co-operative Society though the tribals had all along been cultivating a total of 600 bighas of land that included this land. As per the UP Large Land Holding Tax Act of 1956, the land belongs to the co-operative society and cannot be claimed by the persons who had put this land into the co-operative society and by doing so; they had ceased to have any interest in the land and did not remain landholder any longer.
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