The eviction of 35-year-old Malathi Poojarthi, an anganwadi assistant from her house when her husband was away, without serving a prior notice on Tuesday has led to protests in Moodukonaje village near Moodbidri.

While a group of villagers staged protests on Tuesday and Wednesday demanding investigation into the eviction, the City-based civic organisation Democratic Ambassador for All India Rural Integrity (DAARI) has petitioned the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission and sought its intervention.

About “50 policemen” formed a human barricade and did not allow the relatives who rushed to her rescue, it is alleged.

“We saw her being dragged out by her feet. She was pushed aside as the demolition began,” Dayananda, her brother-in-law, said. “The authorities threw out her belongings, removed tarpaulin covering the building and broke the loosely-placed brick walls of her house,” said Mr. Dayananda, adding that the house was built through a Rs. 15,000 loan that her husband Damodar, a hotel worker in Mangalore, had taken. It was yet to be paid back.

While Moodbidri Tahsildar, Iqbal Siddiqui, filed a complaint with the Moodbidri police of encroachment against the family, Ms. Poojarthi, who is recovering in a private hospital, has accused the village accountant and two other revenue officials of assault and forcible eviction.

Claiming to have acted on a complaint, the Tehsildar said: “This encroachment of a government land is old, and we saw fresh construction happening. There is no need to give notices to stop construction.”

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