Fifty-six Dalit families living on 0.56 cents in Sengodipuram colony here are facing eviction after six decades. These families were settled in 1948 in the colony, established by the late Communist leader Jeevanantham. Though it was spread over 4.78 acres, patta was given for 4.23 acres to the Cosmopolitan Club and other communities. The Dalits have been denied patta all these years.
A resolution was passed at the Dharmapuri Municipality Council meeting on July 27 to evict the Dalit families with the help of the district administration. The move was opposed by the Communist councillors.
P. Dillibabu, Harur M.L.A. and District Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) told The Hindu on Wednesday that the Municipal Council’s resolution was against the Government Order which ensured patta to those living on government land for more than 5 or 10 years. It was also against the Constitutionally guaranteed right to life.
He urged the State government to stop the eviction move and take steps to issue patta to the Dalit families immediately. Mr. Babu accused the municipality of being indifferent to the Dalit families and favouring caste-Hindu families, the Cosmopolitan Club and Indian Medical Association building in the area.
Many of the caste-Hindu families are paying only 0.12 paise as tax for using the land from 1954. Instead of raising the income through restructuring its tax structure the municipality was evicting the poor people with ‘ulterior and political motives,’ Mr. Babu charged.
To oppose the Municipality’s move and secure the rights of the Dalit families, the CPI(M) planned agitations in front of the Municipality from September 8 to 15.
N. Varadarajan, State secretary of the party, K. Balabharathy, Legislature Party Leader, S.K. Mahendran, M.L.A. Perambur, G. Latha, M.L.A. Gudiyatham and other leaders are participating in the agitation.
A decision to this effect was announced by Mr. Dillibabu, after the party’s district committee meeting here.