A cross section of people, including writers, theatre personalities, farmers, students and academicians on Wednesday condemned the State Government's decision to transfer a portion of land belonging to Veterinary College for construction of judges' quarters.

Staging a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue on M.G. Road here, they said judicial officers should decline the move to hand over 20 acres of land belonging to the college.

Only for research

The land should not be used for any purpose other than research activities, the protesters unequivocally said, and added that educational and research institutions should be kept away from real estate development.

“If judges have any sensibilities, they should reject the decision. As they have been provided with all facilities, including transport, they can go a little farther and prevent bifurcation of the college land,” Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar said, and warned of dire consequences if the Government went ahead with alienating the land.

The judicial community should voluntarily reject the Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Science University land, veteran freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy said. “We should prepare ourselves to resist every move to grab the land by the Government.”

Land shortage

A postgraduate student, who did not want to be named, pointed out that the university was already short of the stipulated area of 150 acres for a veterinary college. “We have only 121 acres right now. If 20 acres is given to judges' quarters, the college will not be left with much space and research will suffer.”

The founding Vice-Chancellor, R.N. Srinivas Gowda, condemned the Government move as an attack on the autonomy of the university and its democratic functioning. “When hundreds of acres of government land is available elsewhere, its eagerness to acquire the Veterinary College land raises several questions about its true intentions.”

Among others who joined the dharna, which was organised by Bangalore Veterinary College Campus Protection Committee, were theatre personality S.G. Somashekar Rao, the former Karnataka Nataka Academy chairperson K. Marulusiddappa, farmers' leader G.C. Bayyareddy, and the former vice-chancellors of the University of Agricultural Sciences G.K. Veeresh and K.V. Devraj.

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