Minority benefit count

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 21.02.07

Calcutta, Feb. 21: In the face of Jamait Ulema-i-Hind propaganda that Muslims’ land was being picked for acquisition more than others’, the government has decided to keep a count of the number of pattas (which give right to till a state plot) distributed among Muslims.

The exercise will help a counter-campaign publicising the government’s welfare activities for the community, an official said.

The government plans to distribute pattas for 10,000 acres by mid-April and continue the exercise till the rural polls next year.

In Khejuri, 40 km from Jamait stronghold Nandigram, the chief minister distributed 5,000 deeds earlier this month. “Of the 3,000 beneficiaries there, 500 were from the minority community,” land minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah said.

The government is also planning to tom tom its land reforms, which also benefited the minorities. Since the Left Front came to power in 1977, it has distributed pattas for 9.68 lakh acres.

“We didn’t keep precise data on how many from the community benefited from it, but the national sample survey has shown that it is a significant number,” Mollah said.

At a convention organised by the Jamait Ulema-i-Bangla on March 1, the chief minister, front chairman Biman Bose and minorities development minister Abdus Sattar will speak on the government’s community uplift mission.

Mollah, however, said he did not approve of an “event sponsored by a religious body”.

Land ceiling bill

The land ceiling bill might still be passed during the budget session if a consensus emerges on its proposal to relax the bar for commerce and infrastructure projects. “I’m hopeful as the House will be in session till June and may be extended up to July,’’ Mollah said.