Twelve farmers have petitioned the President

As many as 12 bagair hukum farmers from Tumkur have made an appeal to the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to either give them title deeds of the land they have been cultivating for more than four decades or allow them to end their life.

These are among the 160 bagair hukum farmers of seven villages in Sira taluk who have been cultivating government land at Mudigerekaval near Sira town for more than 40 years.

They grow groundnut, cotton, coconut trees and are dependent on the land for their living.

Mudigerekaval has 4,108 acres of government land, of which 3,075 acres of land belongs to the Forest Department.

These families have been cultivating the remaining land for more than 40 years albeit without title deeds.

They have repeatedly staged protests over this issue, and on August 21, 2012, three farmers tried to commit suicide by consuming pesticide on the taluk office premises of Sira town. One of them (M.G. Thimmaraju) died, while the other two recovered but arrested by the police. They were in prison for nearly a month. Cases were registered against seven farmers for abetting suicide. They are still struggling to pay the advocate’s fee.

Srinivas M.G. of Mekarahalli said: “The government must permit me and my family members to die as we completely depend on this land for my living.”

Tahsildar of Sira taluk S.B. Kulkarni, however, said that as per the rules, the land which is within 5 km radius of Sira City Municipal Council (CMC) cannot be granted and Mudigerekaval is within 5 km radius of the city municipal council.

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