Madikeri:The people of Tannimani, Bhagamandala have been living under fear of Kasturirangan Report and to add to their woes, from the past two days the forest department has started survey in the area.
The villagers met the Deputy Commissioner, on June 1 and requested them to give instructions to stop the survey.
Before meeting the DC a few villagers spoke in a press meet and said that the forest department has suddenly started the survey. They said that the forest officials are troubling them saying that the farm lands owned by them are forest land. If the survey work was not stopped the entire population of Bhagamandala hobali would unite and fight against the forest department, the villagers warned.
Mittu Ranjith, taluk president of BJP’s ST Morcha and Kalana Ravi, president of BJP Yuva Morcha were also present in the press meet. They expressed their disapproval of the action of the forest department.
The forest department had conducted a survey 25-30 years ago and marked their boundaries. Now the forest department was trying to encroach upon the revenue land blamed, Kalana Ravi.
The villages bordering the forest had revenue land and was cultivated for the past 70-80 years by the villagers who were living in the area. The people living belonged to SC/ST and other tribal communities. The Bhagamandala grama panchayat was providing the basic facilities like roads, drinking water and other such facilities. In spite of this the forest department was claiming that the land belongs to them, criticized Mittu Ranjith.
Two years ago when a similar survey started in the area the villagers sat in front of the forest office in protest for three days and a senior forest official had promised not to trouble the villagers in future. Now the forest officials have again started the survey stating government's order and have destroyed their crops.
The survey work would be conducted in the absence of the owner of the land and they would forcefully take the signatures of the people in the house, they feared.
Ravi said that the anti-people act of the forest department would be brought to the notice of the district in-charge minister and the MP of the area.
When the request to the Deputy Commissioner was being submitted, members from more than twenty families of the village and local BJP leaders were present.
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