Special Correspondent

Says Dalits will forcibly occupy lands as part of proposed `Bhoo Poratam'

TIRUPATI: The State president of the Republican Party of India (RPI), Bojja Tarakam on Friday strongly criticised the State Government for its failure to recover from the hands of "unauthorised" persons the DKT patta lands in the State despite a 90-day deadline set for the task by the Chief Minister himself. If the Government failed to stick to the deadline, the Dalits and the weaker sections would be left with no other option but launch a `land-war' (Bhoo Poratam) to forcibly occupy the Government lands which are under the unlawful occupation of the `usurpers'.

`Deplorable'

Addressing a meeting at Ambedkar Bhavan here on the theme, "Government lands to the Dalits alone", he said that when there was about 40 lakh acres of land to be distributed to the landless in the State, it was highly deplorable that the State Government should try to wash off its hands by distributing merely one lakh acres. As for the Chittoor district, the RPI leader said of 4.7 lakh acres of DKT lands distributed in the district to the landless since 1948, as much as 2.7 lakh acres was usurped by "illegal occupants".

State general secretary of the `Yanadi Sangham', D. Ch. Kotaiah lashed out at the Government for earmarking barely 1% in the annual budget for the development of the STs against the 7% actually required on the basis of their population.

Expresses concern

State secretary P.Anjaiah expressed concern over the increasing land-grabbing in and around Tirupati involving mostly lands belonging to the weaker sections and indicated that the proposed Statewide `Bhoo Poratam' would be launched on the ensuing Ambedkar Jayanthi.