A solution acceptable to all should be found to end the present impasse over farmer Gregory Patrao's land, said Regional Commissioner M.V. Jayanthi, who inspected his demolished house in Kalavaru village here on Saturday.
Ms. Jayanthi held a closed-door meeting with Mr. Patrao, Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj, tahsildar C. Manjunath, Special Land Acquisition Officer of the KIADB Krishnamurthy, representatives of MRPL and Mangalore Special Economic Zone Ltd. (MSEZL), and supporters of Mr. Patrao. During the meeting, Mr. Patrao was asked to relate the events on the day of the demolition, after which Ms. Jayanthi was taken to the demolished house, where Mr. Patrao's family, including his 80-year-old mother, is still residing in a temporary shed. His cattle are also sheltered there.
Asked about the nature of her report to the Chief Minister, Ms. Jayanthi said that she was yet to receive some reports from officials.
Mr. Patrao submitted a memorandum containing the details about the demolition and three compact discs and other documents.
In a meeting that followed the inspection, Mr. Patrao made four demands. He told The Hindu that he was firm on getting his land back. “Even if they (officials) offer me another plot, I will not take it. I showed the Regional Commissioner the forest that I grew on my land to prevent run-off of water. How can I grow such a forest on another plot now,” he asked.
He demanded that the seized items of his family be returned, along with compensation. Mr. Patrao quoted Mr. Ponnuraj as saying that the district administration would have to seek legal opinion on returning the seized items, as Mr. Patrao had filed a private complaint with the Judicial Magistrate First Class II.
He asked Ms. Jayanthi to ensure withdrawal of the cases filed against him, his family members and other supporters for obstructing officials from demolishing his house, which is a non-bailable offence. Ms. Jayanthi said, “I don't know if I have the power to withdraw the cases. I will take it up with the Government.” On the demand for action to be taken against the officials involved in the incident, she said she will include the matter in her report.