Thawar, a poor tribal farmhand in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, got the dream ending to his struggle of decades, when he got back his land which is now valued at several crores. The story started in 1961, when some people cheated a poor illiterate tribal farmer out of his 16 bighas of land, by giving him a throwaway price. Afterward, his sons, Thawar, Mangala, and Nanuram tried to get back the land, but to no avail. Even after the sale deed of 1961 was declared null and void by the sub-divisional magistrate of Ratlam in 1987, the names of the three brothers were not recorded in the land documents or the judgment.
Since then, for 34 years, the brothers have been making the rounds at various courts, seeking justice. Several cases and hearings later, many of these courts delivered verdicts in their favour. However, the date for handing over the land was still far off. Finally, when all else had failed, the farmers went to the district collector and demanded to get their land and livelihood back.
Upon hearing the full story, the collector Kumar Purushottam was stunned and he immediately ordered the SDM to get the land registered in the name of the brothers and hand over the possession within a week. Finally, on July 8, the documents were handed over to them. Alongside, they were also made aware that the value of the land was in several crores.
This incident has garnered nation-wide attention. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has tweeted about the incident, praising the sensitivity of the collector.
The farmer families, who were daily wage labourers and farm hands for more than 60 years, are experiencing a sort of windfall with this incident. We are very happy to get our land back, they said.