Land sought for poor, siteless tribals

Former MLC and advocate A K Subbaiah has urged the state government to take back 36,000 acres of C and D land in Kodagu district from the forest department and distribute it among poor siteless tribals. He was speaking after inaugurating a convention of siteless and homeless people in Kodagu, organised by Bhoomi Matthu Vasathi Vanchithara Horata Samithi at Gandhi Maidan in the city on Saturday.

He said, “36,000 acres of C and D land was handed over to the forest department to increase the green cover in the district. But the forest department has failed to plant trees on the land. There is also 8,500 acre Paisari land at Diddalli in Chennangi, which should be distributed among the landless individuals.”

Subbaiah urged the authorities to distribute sites at Diddalli to the displaced tribals. Two acres of land should be distributed for the tribals at Palemadu, Godibasavanahalli and Chattalli. There are 5,000 tribal families which do not have land in the district, he said. He said the condition of tribals in Kodagu district has not changed. Bonded labour system continues to exist in the region, he said.

Subbaiah took District In-Charge Minister M R Seetharam and Deputy Commissioner Richard Vincent D’Souza to task for failing to provide sites for the displaced tribals at Diddalli. Congress leaders are not coming to the rescue of displaced Diddalli tribals. If they come to tribal hamlets seeking votes in the next election, then boycott them, he told the villagers.

SDPI district president Ameen Mohisin said there is a conspiracy to suppress the protest by tribals. “An attempt was made to project those who fought for the displaced tribals as terrorists and Maoists. We will not bow to such tactics. If the chief minister fails to convene a meeting to discuss the woes of displaced tribals on March 28, we will stage an indefinite protest at Freedom Park in Bengaluru from April 14,” he warned.

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