Villagers foil ex-servicemen's attempt to clean land ment for 'sites'

Villagers foil ex-servicemen's attempt to clean land ment for 'sites'

Villagers foil ex-servicemen's attempt to clean land ment for 'sites'

The attempt of the ex-servicemen and their family members to perform ‘Shramadana’ at 1st Monnangeri in Madikeri taluk, identified by Kodagu Gowda Progressive Association to make sites, was foiled due to the intervention of police and the Forest Department officials.

The assembled office-bearers of the Association and the ex-servicemen who had earlier told that they would cut the trees and remove weeds in the area, could not accomplish the said task as the police officers warned them not to take law into their hands.

Hundreds of women and elderly were part of the team led by Association President Kottholi Mane Appaiah, with a hope to have sites for their families. In fact the ex-servicemen from other districts of Kodagu too took part in the march.

Speaking after reaching 1st Monnangeri, Appaiah said that they were at the venue only to inspect it. They had quit the plan of chopping the tress as per the police’s request. The site making work will start once the government sanctions 1,300 acres of land for the formation of sites for ex-servicemen.

“The Forest Department has been arguing that the land belongs to it but we have the RTC to prove that it is a ‘Paisari land. If it belongs to the Forest Department how come cardamom and coffee plants are cultivated here? A road too has been constructed in this land to provide connectivity to the near by private resort,” he said.

Following the police pressure, the people who had gathered at the venue vented out their anger at the district administration for not showing interest to provide site benefits to the soldiers who have fought for the nation.

“Despite several requests, the Madikeri Tahsildar has not responded to our plea. If the situation continues we would have to gherao Tahsildar’s office. Following our demand to provide us the sites in this area, the officers have taken up the work of fencing the land, only to keep us away,” alleged Appaiah.

He said that he would not even mind approaching the Supreme Court if need arises. If the district administration fails to respond with in 10 days, we would stage protest in front of the DC’s office, he warned.

Earlier, the Association members and ex-servicemen walked for about eight kilometer to reach 1st Monnangeri. As they reached the spot, tight police security was in force to control the situation. When the site expectants crossed Water Filter House and walked towards Monnangeri, the villagers tried to block their path by laying wooden log on the way, due to which tension prevailed for some time.

Madikeri Rural Police Station Inspector Srikanth intervened and asked the villagers not to block the way as it is a public road. Addressing the site expectants, he asked them to bring their grievances to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner. “You should try to get the sites through legal channel. Do not take law into your hands by chopping the trees or breaking the fence,” he said.