Hunger-striker in the DOSAAF Makhachkala micro-district, October 25, 2019. Photo by Rasul Magomedov for the Caucasian Knot

26 October 2019, 12:19

Kumyk activists demand return of historical lands

Two activists are hunger-striking near Makhachkala for the fifth day, demanding to return historical lands to residents of the Kumyk villages of Alburikent, Kyakhulai and Tarki. One more protester felt bad; and he is in hospital.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Kumyks had repeatedly demanded the return of their lands in Dagestan lost during the years of Stalinist deportations. Thus, in June 2018, more than 200 residents of the village of Nizhnee Kazanische of the Buinaksk District and of the village of Talgi in the suburbs of Makhachkala held a gathering at which they demanded from the republic's authorities to stop the alienation of agricultural land from Kumyks.

Two residents of the village of Alburikent – Bektemir Salikhov and Eldar Bulatov – have been on a hunger strike since October 21, trying to draw the attention of republic's authorities to the sale out of lands in the suburbs of Makhachkala. Another protester, Djamal Magomedov, felt bad on the third day of the hunger strike. He is now in hospital, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

The activists, Salikhov and Bulatov, are day and night in the field in the DOSAAF Makhachkala micro-district. They spend nights in a wooden trailer adapted for habitation, and in the afternoon they stay lying in the street near it. A poster is attached to the trailer, informing of the hunger strike and protesters' demand to meet the head of Dagestan. It is explained in a separate banner that the hunger-strikers are demanding "to recognize as illegal and condemn the acts of forced resettlement of residents of the villages of Tarki, Kyakhulai and Alburikent in 1944, and give them the status of deported people," as well as return to them the lands that before 1944 belonged to local collective farms, which were populated by Kumyks.

"We are the only nation in Russia, to whom the seized lands were not returned after the criminal forced resettlement," says the banner.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 25, 2019 at 11:39 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Rasul Magomedov; Source: CK correspondent

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