Land under possession of Harrison's Malayalam

Seven families were on Tuesday evicted from disputed land reportedly under the possession of Harrison's Malayalam Plantation (HML) at Arapetta, near Mepadi.

The drive was led by the Police and Revenue departments on a directive of the Kerala High Court, Kesavendrakumar, District Collector Wayanad told The Hindu.

The court had directed the district administration on January 29 to evict those who had encroached upon the land in 2012, by following a Court's guideline issued in 2010, within two months, he added.

It was reported that a group of activists under the aegis of the Adivasi Kshema Samiti (AKS) and Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union

(KSKTU), two feeder organisations of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), had encroached upon nearly 200 acres of the land in 2012 asking the government to resume the surplus land allegedly possessed by the HML and disburse it to landless people.

They had claimed their rights on the land by erecting huts at five sites at Arapetta under the Mupainad village; Anappara in Chundale; Perumkoda in Puzhuthana; Pozhuthana in Achuranom; and Thovarimala under Nenmeni villages in the district.

However, Wayanad Bhoo Samsarakshna Samiti president P.K. Murali said the court had directed the district administration to evict the

encroachers from the five sites but, the Revenue officials were misled and had evicted the tenants of the land (survey number 346 and 347, at Arepetta under the Kottapadi village) who were engaged in a legal fight with the HML on the right of the land since 1999 under the aegis of the Samiti.

The evicted site was not mentioned in the court order and the respondents in the case were the CPI(M), AKS and KSKTU, not those who had been evicted, he added.

He alleged that the present action by the district administration was to escape from contempt of court proceedings and tarnish the image of the Samiti.

Hence, we urge the intervention of the Human Rights Commission in the issue, Mr. Murali said.

But, Mr. Kesavendrakumar said the evicted land came under the purview of the court order.

The officials had retrieved one hectare of land and it would be kept under the possession of the Revenue Department. The eviction drives would be continued in the coming days, he added.

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