Sikar: On July 31, a settlement of about 40 families of the Kalbelia community, traditionally snake charmers, was attacked in Jhil Ki Ghati, Sikar district. Two houses were demolished and in the melee, one three-year-old girl was injured as a motorcycle hit her. The houses of Dina Nath and Suresh Nath were destroyed completely. The community had settled in the area about five decades ago.
Members of the group later approached the tehsildar, who told them they had no option but to move. Their lands were set for acquisition. The community was given no prior notice of the acquisition. On Friday, the Suchna Evum Rozgar Abhiyan (SR Abhiyan) protested in front of the Vidhan Sabha, seeking justice for the poor people who were being forced out of their homes.
They demanded compensation, so the families of those whose homes were destroyed can rebuild them, at that very spot. Also, action should be taken against the police and district authorities who appear to be working in collusion with the land mafia, the SR Abhiyan said in its press release. The protesters also recalled that it is now three months since parts of havelis that predate Indian independence were demolished without prior notice to occupants in Neem Ka Thana of Sikar district.
No action has yet been taken against those responsible for that demolition and no effort has been made to offer basic facilities to those whose homes were partially pulled down, the press release said. A group of about 400 people from 20 districts gathered near the Vidhan Sabha to protest the forcible acquisition of land.
Kavita Srivastava of People's Union for Civil Liberties, addressing the people on dharna, said atrocities against women, Dalits, adivasis and minority groups have been rising in the state. Social activist Nikhil Dey said groups have been sitting on protest at different sites almost every month, but the government has refused to pay heed.
Even those with incurable occupational diseases like silicosis are promised aid, but the aid amount is not handed over to them. "We will continue our protest till we hold the government to account and get a law that makes for such accountability," he said. State chief secretary OP Meena received a memorandum from the protesters and ordered district authorities to probe the matter of the allegedly illegal demolition of Kalbelia homes.