The Bihar Post

India: Five-decade-old brother-sister land dispute ends on Raksha Bandhan

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PATNA—A long-standing land dispute between two siblings from Bihar quietly ended after the sister tied the rakhi (safety band) around the wrist of her brother on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan on Sunday. The dispute for 12.36 acres of land had been continuing in the family for the five decades.

Raksha Bandhan is one of the prominent festivals of the Hindus during which sisters tie safety bands on the wrists of their brothers and pray for their well being.

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The issue came to a happy ending after a local village court met on Sunday to sort out the dispute in the family which always saw the warring sides at daggers drawn. Both sides agreed to the judgment delivered by the court after which the sister instantly tied the safety band on the wrist of her brother.

As per the report, Pyari Mandal, a resident of Purnia district, had married another woman, a widow, after his first wife died. The man had a daughter named Ramiya Devi from his first wife while his second wife already had a boy named Puran Mandal.

To ensure there is no dispute in the family, the man distributed his land between the two children by formally preparing court deeds. As per the deed, 5.25 acres of land were given to the son, while the remaining 7.11 acres to his daughter. After the death of his step father, however, Puran began staking claims on a piece of land belonging to his sister Ramiya, thus creating rift in the family which continued well over five decades.

Later, both sides approached the village court to sort out the issue which remained unresolved. On Sunday, another meeting was held over the issue during which the court delivered the judgment after going through the will papers prepared by Pyari Mandal. Both sides agreed to the judgment delivered by the court and decided to bury the hatchet forever.

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The climax in the story came after the sister tied a safety band and prayed for his well being. Witnesses said both sides turned emotional as the woman hugged her brother and tied the safety knot in the presence of the village court members.

“This is the happiest moment of my life today as decades-long dispute has finally come to an end. I had been waiting for this moment for long,” Ramiya Devi told the media on Monday.

Land disputes which are directly linked to the law and order problems have been things of worry for the state government for long. According to the state government, more than 60 per cent of crimes in Bihar occur due to land-related disputes, hence have accorded top priority to resolving such disputes.

“Nearly 60 per cent of violent crimes in the state have their roots in land disputes. To minimise these, a fresh survey and settlement of land records are underway. In addition, a number of other measures have been taken which people need to be made aware of,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said.

According to him, the state government decided to put a check on such cases after he found a majority of the complaints reaching his weekly people’s courts relating to the land disputes. The chief minister has been holding the people’s court since 2005 when he came to power in the state.

“Most of the complaints which came up during the people’s court were related to land disputes. Many of these land disputes were related to the members of the same family. After assessing and studying different aspects of the land disputes, the state government brought a new legislation. We found that more than 60 per cent of crimes in the state have their roots in land related disputes,” the chief minister has gone on records.

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