Bengal: Land Grab Cry from Churches after Singur and Nandigram
Now it is the turn of missionary churches in Bengal after Singur and Nandigram. The West Bengal government has told the Seventh Day Adventist Church that out of its 375 acres of land in Falakata in Jalpaiguri district, the church can keep only 24 acres as per rural land ceiling and the rest will be acquired by the state. The church runs a school for the poor in the land.
Bernard Halder, the Principle of the Seventh Day Adventist Church School in Calcutta, which manages the property matters of the Falakata School said in Calcutta on 16th August’08, “ The government wants to take rest of the property (beyond 24 acres) but the compensation the church getting is measly.”
Halder further added, “Ours is a philanthropist organization. We give free education, boarding, food and vocational training to poor children. A Christian missionary had donated the land. Our main source of income is from cultivation of paddy, dairy farming etc on this land and it will be impossible to run the institution if the land is taken away.”
Citing the land ceiling rules, the government has started acquiring 60 acres from Methodist Church in Asansol, 21 acres from Baptist Union Church in Midnapore, 21 acres from the Evangelical Luthera Church in Purulia and 14 acres from Church of North India in Murshidabad district.
A state level organization of Christian members and churches named ‘Bangiya Christiya Pariseba (meaning ‘Bengal Christians Service Organisation’) has written to the chief minister, minority affairs minister Abdus Sattar and the land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah requesting them to intervene and stop acquiring Church plots.
Herod Mullick, general secretary of the organization said, “If the state government turns a blind eye, we will organize law violation programs and march to the assembly (in due course).
Tags: Land Takeover In Bengal , Church Land Takeover , Church Protest , Church
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