Forest dept clears 33 acre encroached land

Forest dept clears 33 acre encroached land

Over 20,000 coffee plants were felled at Indavara reserve forest

Forest dept clears 33 acre encroached land

Forest department officials with police security cleared 33.36 acre forest land reportedly encroached by Congress leader and former minister C R Sageer Ahammed’s son Zakiur Rehman, at Indavara reserve forest limits in Chikkolale, on Friday.

Coffee was grown on the encroached forest land. The labourers with sickles and seesaw arrived at the spot and felled all the grown coffee trees. Over 20,000 coffee trees were felled. Along with it, pepper creepers, vegetables and other agriculture crops too were cleared.

Rehman had purchased land on survey number 32 from Muneer Ahammed 10 years ago. An encroachment case pertaining to the land was filed in 1996.

About 75 per cent of silver trees grown on the encroached land were felled. The owner had sought time till December to fell the trees. However, the forest department had given ultimatum of one week and had refused to extend and initiated the clearance drive.

In fact, survey number 32 was declared as reserve forest way back in 1939. The supreme court had directed to clear the encroached land under Karnataka Forest Act 64 (A) way back in 2006.

A close associate of former minister said, “We are not against reclaiming encroached land. We would have cleared voluntarily. Now, the coffee beans were ready for harvesting. Even pepper was ready for plucking. So we had sought time.”

Neither Sageer Ahammed nor his son or any of the family members were there at the spot.
Deputy Conservator of Forest Raviraj Narayan, ACF Shashidhar, RFO Abdul Ajeej, Prasad and Tahsildar Shive Gowda were present.