'Donated land' centre of controversy in Kalasa

'Donated land' centre of controversy in Kalasa

Future of farmers depends on the move of High Court

'Donated land' centre of controversy in Kalasa

It has been 500 years since the King Bhairava of Karkala ‘offered’ 1000 villages to Kalasheshwar Swamy temple.

However, the development of Kalasa in the last 15 years has been a cause for concern among the farmers among thousands of farmers of the region. The future of farmers depends on the move of High Court and Supreme Court.

The King Bhairava had given the land for defeating the Vijayanagara soliders. Till 1512 AD, none knew the extent of the land. It was in 1880 that the British carried out a survey and confirmed that 21,000 acres of  land was given as a offering to Kalaseshwara.

The land was divided among Mavinakare, Thalagodu, Thotadoor villages. However, owing to encroachment, the extent of Inam land was 14,351 acres in 1934. This includes 12,482 acres in Mavinakate, 1,482 acres in Thotadoor and 386 acres in Talagodu.

Kalaseshwara was a rich God during that period. The temple had given 1.5 lakh towards Railway debenture in 1940, Rs 1.20 lakh to General Muzrai Fund in 1955.

When a Diwan of Mysore rulers had visited Kalasa in 1924, he directed the temple to appoint one forest conservator and two forest guards. The temple was asked to bear the expenses of the staff. With issuing licenses for sandalwood, and forest products, the temple had fetched Rs 14.5 lakh between 1956 to 1974.

After the Inam Abolition Act in 1970, the temple land of 4,200 acres was sanctioned to those families who were cultivating the land.

The revenue department had paid a sum of Rs 1.66 crore to the temple’s 3,800 acre.

When the temple committee approached the court seeking compensation for the remaining 11,000 acre land in 2002, the government had paid a compensation of Rs 35 lakh to 524 acre. The government had not paid compensation to the remaining 10,000 acre land and it argued that it was the forest land.

The Mysore rulers had notified 6,777 acre land  in Thotadoor, Talagodu, Mavinakare, Karimane-Kallugodu and Devaragudde as district reserve forest way back in 1928.

However, the public realised it only in 2000.  It was one Shekar Shetty and Vishwanath Rai had filed a PIL against the sanctioning of the land to 19 farmers in 1999.

It was during the hearing of the case, the public realised the notification of 1928.

However, the Single Division Bench gave a verdict that the sanctioning of the land was legal and the land in question was not forest land.

The government appealed to review the decision.

Now with the High Court’s verdict on Inam land as forest land, farmers cultivating in more than 10,000 acre in Kalasa hobli are fearing threat of eviction, said Inam Bhoomi Santrasthara Horata Samithi convenor Sheshagiri.

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