Chengara agitation completes 26 months on Monday

The consensus reached between the Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyukta Vedi (SJVSV) leaders and the government on the allotment of land to the landless encroachers at Chengara appears to have brought little cheer to the encroachers' camp at the occupied land.

And this is what their studied silence even towards the flash of news on Monday forenoon indicated. The encroachers were reluctant to express their reaction to media persons who visited the place, later.

But, there were also people among them who apparently approve the stand taken by the vedi leadership on Monday. However, none of them were willing to open up before the media till they head the details of the talks and agreement right from the vedi leadership itself.

An uneasy calm could be sensed from the mood at the occupied land. The agreement reached with the government was to provide one acre land to each of the Scheduled Tribe families who constitute only a miniscule section among them and 50 cents each to the Scheduled Caste families who constitute the majority. There were also a good number of Ezhava, Christian and Nair landless families among them who will be getting only 25 cents each.

The recent groupism in the vedi camp followed by clashes between two groups of people favouring and opposing the vedi leader, Laha Gopalan, should be viewed in this backdrop, says a local resident.

It is also noteworthy that the struggle for land launched by hundreds of SJVSV workers by encroaching upon the Kurumbatty division of the Kumbazha Estate of Harrison Malayalam Limited (HML) at Chengara has completed exactly 26 months on Monday.

Talking to The Hindu here on Monday, Mr. Gopalan said that other vedi leaders and he would reach Chengara on Tuesday morning to brief the details of the agreement made with the government to the vedi workers there.

Mr. Gopalan said the land struggle that turned out to be a milestone in the history of the Dalit movement in the country was a grand success.

The vedi leader said the struggle for land by the landless will continue.

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