Mevani warns of taking issue to Delhi

Mevani warns of taking issue to Delhi

The displaced tribals of Diddalli have shifted their fight demanding their rights to Bengaluru.

Accusing the tribals of encroaching the reserve forest at Diddalli, the authorities on December 7, had cleared 578 huts. Following the protest from the tribals, the state government released Rs 1crore for the rehabilitation of the tribals.

The district administration identified sites for the displaced tribals in different locations and distributed. However, the tribals refused to shift to the sites and are demanding sites on 8,500 acre paisari land at Diddalli itself. The tribals started a march on Friday to convince Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about their travails.

Flagging off the march, social activist from Gujrat Jignesh Mevani urged the state government to solve the problems of the tribals and rehabilitate them by distributing sites at Diddalli. “If the sites are not distributed here, then a call will be given to the tribals to vote against Congress candidates in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly election in 2018. About 15% of the population in Gujarat are tribals,” he said.

“To free themselves from the clutches bonded labour system in the coffee estates of Kodagu district, the tribals came and settled in huts at Diddalli. Bu the officials committed a heinous crime by clearing their huts. Both the Congress and the BJP leaders who own coffee estates are engaged in atrocities against the forest dwellers,” he charged.

According to available data, there is 1 lakh acres of land in land bank. It should be distributed among poor siteless tribals and Dalits. If the authorities fail to distribute, then the fight for rights will be taken to Delhi,” he warned.

Mevani charged that the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to destroy laws and is conspiring to build a society based on  religion. All attempts are being made to snatch away the voice of the Dalits. An alternative system by social activists and progressive thinkers is needed to protect the voice of the poor, he claimed.

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