ACF accused of securing land in reserve forest through false records

ACF accused of securing land in reserve forest through false records

Social activist M B Prabhu on Thursday levelled grave allegations against a forest officer accusing the latter of developing coffee estate on forest land spread over 18.20 acres in Devamachi reserve forest area.

Addressing media in the city, Prabhu alleged that the said land (zonal number 19 and survey number 76/1) was secured by the family of assistant conservator of forest, Nagarahole tiger project, K D Belliappa several years ago, after furnishing false information to the government.

The family had misled the district administration of Kodagu that they are landless agricultural labourers and have a monthly income of Rs 8,000. Prabhu questioned the veracity behind the details provided when Belliappa’s father K Devaiah was the forest guard and brother Erappa was the first divisional assistant in the same department.

Another brother has retired from services from German Press. How can the family income per annum be only Rs 8,000?, Prabhu questioned further.

Devamuchi reserve forest area is situated in the heart of buffer zone of Rajiv Gandhi National Park.

The Governor H R Bhardwaj has to intervene at the earliest and confiscate the land  under Karnataka Forest Act 1963.

Separate petitions have been already made in this regard at the office of director general of forest P J Dileepkumar and principal chief conservator of forest A K Verma.

The said officer has to be dealt on par with the tribals who had to face action owing to similar allegations, Prabhu urged.

Officer clarifies

Meanwhile, the officer in question Belliappa has denied the allegations and has claimed that the family is involved in agriculture activities in the forest area since 1936.

The then government on July 24, 1978 had distributed 209 hectares of land for 269 people after denotifying the same. Belliappa said he also has in his possession all the supporting documents.

Moreover, the land was denotified much before he joined forest services.

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