Man dies after forest officers raze his farm

Erappa Jattappa Naika (55) of Padushirali in Shirali, Bhatkal taluk, suffered cardiac arrest as the officers began cutting down the plants that he had grown on the farm which he had developed over several years.

Erappa had migrated to Katagarakoppa and cultivated areca and banana, which was the sole source of livelihood for his family.

On Monday evening, when he went on the daily rounds to the farm, Erappa was in for a rude shock; all the areca trees and banana plants were cut down. When he didn’t return home even by Tuesday morning, his wife came looking for him, and found him dead in the farm.

Neighbours angry

Hundreds of neighbours gathered at the farm and decided to stage a protest in front of the forest office in Shirali.

The police stopped the group which was crossing the Sharada River near Shirali, carrying the body of Erappa Naika. They said they would not hand over the body for post-mortem till legal action was taken against the forest officials.

Deputy Commissioner B S Krishnaiah and SP Ramesh rushed to the spot and assured them that Erappa’s family will be given ex-gratia and action will be taken against the forest officials.

Erappa Naika is survived by his wife and three children.

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