Farmers, elected reps oppose Inam land eviction drive

Farmers, elected reps oppose Inam land eviction drive

HDK promises to solve problem by holding talks with minister, officials 

The forest department’s attempt to clear Inam land holders did not materialise, following stiff opposition by farmers and elected representatives. The forest department had decided to clear encroached Inam land, following the High Court’s order in 2012. The court had declared Inam land as reserve forest. Arrangements were made to clear two houses each in Balige and Makkimane. 

Over 200 police and forest department personnel had arrived at Kalasa on Sunday night, creating an illusion that they would evict houses on Monday. But no attempts were made to evict, as a large number of Inam land cultivators arrived at Balige to oppose the drive. Forest and police personnel who had reached Hornad, did not enter Balige and waited for the arrival of the assistant commissioner. 

Heated exchange of words between JD(S) and Congress workers at Balige created confusion. Though both the Congress and JD(S) are against eviction, the workers started quarreling among themselves at Balige, leading to confusion. 

Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and MLA C T Ravi who visited the village to support Inam land dwellers promised that they would not allow eviction of Inam land holders and took the forest and revenue officers to task. H D Kumaraswamy telephoned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Forest Minister Ramanath Rai, revenue secretary and forest secretary and promised the Inam land dwellers that he would convince the government to revoke the process of clearing the land within 15 days. Later speaking at a meeting Kumaraswamy said that attempts will be made to solve the issue in a meeting with the ministers and officials on Tuesday. 

MLA C T Ravi questioned the deputy conservator of forest and the assistant commissioner who had arrived at the venue, was it not against the law to evict agriculturists even as the applications under the Forest Rights Act were pending for disposal. He indirectly hinted the Maoist movement and anti-social activities might gain momentum in the region, if poor farmers are thrown to streets. 

Following the opposition and the elected representatives convincing the forest and police personnel, they returned without clearing the encroached land.

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