NEW DELHI: Over 7,000 persons, including some Members of Parliament and State Legislators have so far been arrested in different parts of India in connection with “land grab” movement launched by pro-Moscow Communists and the two Socialist Parties, according to reports reaching here last night [Aug 10].

The movement passed off peacefully yesterday on the second day since it was launched, with the exception of clash in Bihar state. The Bihar clash was a sequel to resistance offered by the landowners, when grabbers tried to occupy and plough a plot of land. Seven people were injured in the fighting. The targets of yesterday’s moves inclu­ded property owned by Indian Defence Minister Jagjiwan Ram in Bihar state and the Maha­rashtara Chief Minister’s farming land in Poona.

The land grab movement has been launched by the Communist Party and two Socialist Parties independently as protest against the alleged failure of Governments in different states to solve the problem of distribution of land to the landless.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called the movement “unconstitutional”. … Radicals in her Cong­ress Party are supporting the movement indirectly. However, they consider that land reforms have been delayed in several states because Chief Ministers do not want them carried out. — Agency

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2020