4-acre land ‘encroached’ by NGO in BR Hills cleared

Trench dug up around the disputed land, at BR Hills, Yalandur, Chamarajanagar district.

The district authorities raided the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK), on Sunday, cleared four acres of government land that had been reportedly encroached at BR Hills here.

It is said that VGKK, which has established an Ayurvedic treatment centre here, has encroached four acres of land belonging to Sericulture department on survey number 4/66. However, VGKK secretary H Sudarshan, a Magsaysay award winner, has denied this.

The encroachment clearance was led by assistant commissioner Nikitha Chinnaswamy. More than 40 police personnel and 40 officials of the sericulture department were present. Sudarshan and members of tribal organisations stopped the officials and argued with them. They even tried to explain that the assistant commissioner’s office had told them to maintain status quo in 2005 and 2011. The treatment centre is spread across 14 acres and only four acres on survey number 4/66 is the disputed land.

However, the police explained that the encroachment was being cleared as per the directions of the assistant commissioner. A trench was created around the disputed area.

According to sources, district in-charge secretary Rajendar Kumar Kataria had directed to clear the encroachment on November 11 and the deputy commissioner issued a circular in this regard on November 14.

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