Collector alleges move to encroach on govt. property
Tension prevailed in the Maradu municipality on Saturday when revenue authorities removed the statue of Pandit Karuppan which had been installed on a piece of government-owned property without permission from authorities.
The Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha and the Hindu Aikya Vedi have called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal to be observed in the area on Monday in protest against the incident.
Police said the statue was installed by a group of people about three weeks ago in connection with the birth anniversary of the social reformer.
The statue was removed by a team of revenue officials with assistance from the local police in the morning.
Soon, activists of the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha, who rushed to the spot, entered into an argument with officials, arguing that removing the social reformer’s statue on his birth anniversary amounted to disrespecting him.
They even attempted to resist the officials and their workers from entering the area but it yielded no results with the officials standing firm that the step followed a directive from the District Collector. Commenting on the issue, District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam said that the installation of statue on government property was part of the attempts to encroach on the land.
“This was recovered by the government from the Dheevara Sabha as part of a loan repayment case about three decades ago and all of a sudden, they are trying to assert their right on the land, which cannot be allowed in any case’’, he said.Allegations denied
He also denied the allegations about vandalising the statue and clarified the official only removed it based on a directive.
“Their attempt is to incite trouble, arouse caste sentiments and grab the property having a market value of crores of rupees,” he said.