The Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the CPI(M), on Tuesday threatened to enter the land allegedly occupied by P. D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, on November 9, if the State government failed to reclaim and distribute it to the poor.
“We will embark on a direct action and distribute the land to landless farmers and the poor in Kaverirajapuram village in Tiruvallur district. I will lead the agitation,” said CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K. Varadarajan, who is also general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
Addressing a fast organised by the Sangam to urge the State government to reclaim thousands of acres of government land encroached upon by influential persons across the State, Mr. Varadarajan said this exemplified the ongoing trend in Tamil Nadu.
Though the ruling DMK, in its manifesto, had promised to distribute 50 lakh acres of government land to the poor, it was not able to distribute even 3,000 acres because the lands were in the hands of the rich.
“Kaverirajapuram will be our first target. We will launch similar actions in other areas if the government remains inactive,” he warned.
Sangam general secretary K. Balakrishnan demanded a CBI inquiry into all allegations of encroachment in the State. He sought to know why Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who had immediately appointed a commission to inquire into land grabbing at Siruthavur after receiving complaints, was hesitating to order a probe into a similar act by a judge. “We will mobilise people and launch protests to put pressure on the government. We won’t be cowed down.”
CPI (M) State secretary N. Varadarajan said the party would fully involve itself in the agitation to retrieve the encroached land. “The struggle will not confine itself to Kaverirajapuram. It will spread all over the State.”
CITU general secretary A. Soundararajan said temples and religious mutts also should be brought under the purview of the Land Ceiling Act.
“We also need a probe into land-grabbing by various educational institutions,” he said. V.M. Raman, a native of Kaverirajapuram and founder of the Thalam Charitable Trust, who participated in the protest, said that was the duty of the government to distribute land that had been encroached upon to the poor, since the Collector had identified it.