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Daghestani village takes military to court over transfer of agricultural lands

22 June 2017
The residents of Batlaich village on protest (Kavkaz.Realii)

Residents of a village in central Daghestan have appealed in court against the military’s acquisition of agricultural land in their village. On 20 June, Daghestan’s Supreme Court postponed consideration of the claim at the request of the Prosecutor's Office, who have asked for more time to study the case.

According to residents of Batlaich, in Daghestan’s Khunzakh District, the case concerns the permanent transfer of agricultural land used by locals to a military unit stationed near the village.

‘The former head of our village handed over to a plot of land belonging to the village to the military unit. The land here is all rocky. However, for some reason, the military wants to take away our fertile land. We hope that the court will make a fair decision, because the life of our village literally depends on it’, Shamil, a resident of Batlaich told OC Media.

According to Shamil, the area contains the only source of drinking water for the village and the entire village depends on it.

In their lawsuit, residents explain the problem and ask that the court declare the decision to transfer the land as illegal.

This is not the first dispute over land in Batlaich. In May 2017, village head Artur Aliyev appealed to the police after being attacked and hospitalised with a concussion and other injuries. Aliyev alleges that people working for the Head of Khunzakh District, Said Yusupov, carried out the attack.

According to a preliminary investigation, the conflict arouse after Aliyev refused to sign over rental rights for public lands to a local businessman for 49 years.

It is not known how the conflict was resolved, but both Aliyev and Yusupov remain in their positions.

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