Displaced Diddalli tribals pin hopes on Siddaramaiah

Displaced Diddalli tribals pin hopes on Siddaramaiah

CM to meet ministers, officials & activists on issue today

Displaced Diddalli tribals pin hopes on Siddaramaiah

A meeting has been convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to look into the demands put forth by Diddalli tribals, who were evacuated by the forest department from Devamacchi Reserve Forest in Kodagu district, at Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The meeting will be attended by Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, Minister for Forest and Ecology Ramanath Rai, Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya, Kodagu District-In-Charge Minister M R Seethaam, Kodagu in-charge DC Charulatha Somal, forest department officials and ITDP officials.

Leaders who have been demanding justice for displaced tribals led by freedom fighter H S Doraiswamy, Advocate A K Subbaiah, Bhoomi mathu Vasathi Hakku Vanchithara Horata Samithi district president B S Nirvanappa, Madikeri CMC member Ameen Mohisin, activists Gauri Lankesh, Sirimane Nagarj, Noor Sridhar, tribal leader Appajji and Muthamma will take part in the meeting.

On December 7, the forest department officials had cleared the huts of 588 tribals at Diddalli, accusing the tribals of encroaching upon the forest land. Condemning the incident, tribal women and men staged semi-nude protest and the police had booked cases against eight agitating tribals as well.

The tribals have been stating that the land  in question was a paisari land and they have been residing there for several years. When the protest intensified, Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya convened a meeting and announced to release Rs 1 crore for the rehabilitation of the tribals during the last week of December.

Though the district administration had distributed sites for 528 displaced tribals at Rampura, Kedamalluru, Basavanahalli, the tribals refused to accept the sites as they insisted that they be given sites at Diddalli.

When tribals started a march from Diddalli to Bengaluru on April 7 demanding justice, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urged the tribal leaders to call-off the march and promised to convene a meeting on April 11.

Bhoomi mathu Vasathi Hakku Vanchithara Horata Samithi district president B S Nirvanappa said, “We have placed our hopes on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. We have been demanding justice for the last four months. If the demands are not met with, we will decide on future course of action on Tuesday evening.”

SDPI president Ameen Mohisin said, “There are documents to prove that Diddalli has 9,000 acres of paisari land. The land was handed over to the forest department to increase the green cover. Let the forest officials prove that the said land is a reserve forest before the chief minister.”