Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Farmers’ body serves ultimatum to government

CHENNAI: Farmers of Kaverirajapuram village led by the All India Kisan Sabha on Tuesday served an ultimatum to the State government to retrieve the over 200 acres of government poromboke land allegedly encroached upon by Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran at the village by October-end.
Else, the locals would remove the fencing and distribute the land among the landless Dalits there, they warned.
After a day-long protest by thousands of farmers who demanded that the government retrieve the vast tracts of land illegally held by influential people across the State, K Varadarajan, general secretary of AIKS, told Express: “Since it is now almost clear that Justice Dinakaran is illegally holding more than 200 acres of poromboke land in Kaverirajapuram village limits, we ask the government to retrieve it before October-end, otherwise farmers in the village would be forced to remove fencing erected on encroached land and distribute it to the landless poor living there.” Though the Tamil Nadu government had said that the State had 50 lakh acre of wasteland and wanted to distribute two acre each to the landless, the promise seemed to exist only on paper since influential people had already encroached upon most of the wasteland. Retrieving the land from them could be a daunting task for the government, he said.
Earlier, addressing the farmers, CPI(M) leader N Varadarajan said, “The land retrieval movement was not just focussed on Kaverirajapuram poromboke lands encroached by Justice Dinakaran; it is a State-wide movement to retrieve land for the landless poor.”

K Balakrishnan, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said, “When the DMK government ordered an enquiry on the Siruthavur land issue almost instantly upon receiving a memorandum, farmers are wondering why the government is now dilly-dallying on the land occupied by Dinakaran.” He also sought a CBI enquiry on the alleged encroachment of government land by Justice Dinakaran.

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