Farmers, coffee growers oppose move to recover encroached land

'Forest department officials should stop harassing farmers'

Farmers and coffee growers led by the district JD(S) unit staged a protest opposing the forest department’s drive to recover encroached land, in front of the forest department office on Wednesday.

JD(S) workers and coffee growers took out a protest march from the old taluk office to the forest department, shouting slogans against the forest officers. They demanded the department to stop the drive to reclaim encroached forest land.

The protesters said that the government should disburse compensation to the growers who have already vacated the land.

The officials should stop harassing the growers in the name of reclaiming the encroached land.

Addressing protesters, JD(S) leader H H Devaraj said that the forest officials should have nexus with the growers. “The coffee growers and farmers here have never supported Maoists, but if the present situation continues, then we might have to join the Maoists to save our land. Farmers might have to hold guns to protect their land,” he warned.

He urged the forest officials not to trouble growers by damaging the coffee plants.
JD(S) State Vice President H T Rajendra demanded the government to convince the court on the error committed by the forest and the revenue departments.

There is a need to bring in amendment to the Forest Act so as to legalise the allegedly encroached land to help the poor families.

Former MLA S L Dharmegowda and others were present.

Move flayed

Progressive farmer from Gonibeedu J G Krishnamurthy has flayed the move of the forest department to reclaim its encroached land in Mudigere taluk.  In a press release, he has termed the drive as the government’s effort to suppress poor farmers.

The department which has been issuing notices to small farmers who have encroached less than 10 acre of land for livelihood, has not taken any action against the large farmers who had encroached hundreds of acres of forest land. The government should intervene and stop the drive.


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