Welcome move

Welcome move

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalaitha has launched a welcome campaign to recover land belonging to common people encroached and grabbed by influential politicians and their associates, and to take action against the land-grabbers.

Land is the most basic possession of ordinary citizens and is becoming a more and more valuable asset with changes taking place in society and the economy. Even as its value increases it is increasingly becoming a target for powerful people. Grabbing of land  by a nexus of politicians, officials and anti-social elements is not special to Tamil Nadu. The victims do not get any hearing or relief because of the influence wielded by politicians and they have to silently accept the reality of power.The drive launched by the AIADMK government will hopefully bring relief to many who had lost their land.

The campaign has brought to light thousands of cases of land-grabbing. Jayalalitha is not known for half-measures and so the government has initiated a concerted legal and administrative action all over the state. It has set up a special machinery to accept complaints from dispossessed people and take action.

The methods of grabbing have ranged from forceful entry to deception to creation of false documents with the connivance of officials. Many influential persons have been arrested and the encroached land is being restored to their rightful owners. The latest arrest is that of a former DMK minister who is alleged to have  forcibly acquired land from its owner to build the party’s office there.

Three former ministers have been arrested till now on charges of land-grabbing. Some highly-placed persons, including those close to the Karunanidhi family, business men and others have come under the spotlight and felt the heat of the ongoing campaign.

It is important that the campaign should not become a vindictive exercise against AIADMK’s  opponents in the DMK. It has acquired a political colour because most of the cases which have come to light involve DMK politicians or those close to them.

The charge is that they illegally acquired properties during the party’s long stint in power in the state. The DMK has also sought to challenge the campaign on the argument that it is discriminatory and vindictive. It must be ensured that all genuine complaints are acted upon without political consideration.

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