Staff Correspondent

‘Bane’ lands are not encroachments

Both the JD(S) and the BJP have lost their credibility, says Subbaiah

‘Greater Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary will not be in the interests of the people of Kodagu’

Madikeri: A.K. Subbaiah, former MLC and leader of the Bane Hakku Rakshana Samiti, said here on Saturday that a ‘Kodagu bandh’ would be observed on November 1.

A huge rally would be organised to protest against the Government’s failure to restore the rights over ‘bane’ land that existed prior to the issuance of the two controversial revenue circulars, even after they were withdrawn recently.

The Bangalore-based Kodagu Asthitva Horata Samiti (KAHS) had convened a meeting in Bangalore next week to discuss the issue. Last month, the KAHS, along with the Bane Hakku Rakshana Samiti and other organisations got the two revenue circulars revoked.

Invited

Mr. Subbaiah said he had been invited to the meeting where green signal was likely to the given to bandh on November 1.

After the circulars had been revoked, the Kodagu district administration had not taken steps to issue coffee registration certificates (CRCs) to farmers, which would enable them to take bank loans, assess the cultivated ‘bane’ lands and bring it under the tax net and change khata of the land for which applications had been filed for conversion.

He accused the Government of pressuring the district administration to carry out a “telephonic order”, which in effect meant that there was no change in the system even after the two circulars were revoked. This was nothing but cheating the people, Mr. Subbaiah alleged.

People’s rights

If the Government meant what it said, it should instruct the Deputy Commissioner to dispose all CRC applications and restore the people’s rights over their land.

Otherwise there would be no point in celebrating Rajyotsava on November 1, he said.

‘Committee’

He said the expert committee formed to find a permanent solution to the problems in Kodagu was of no use. Such committees could go into encroachment of government land in other parts of the State. ‘Bane’ land was not land that had been encroached upon, but land that had been inherited down the generations.

The Janata Dal (Secular), at the behest of certain pseudo-environmentalists, was solely responsible for the plight of the people of Kodagu, he alleged.

Mr. Subbaiah, who continued the tirade against the environmentalists, asked whether they were aware of the problems of the people of the district. Have they concentrated on the farmer suicide issue, he asked.

The so-called environmentalists were not concerned about the environment, but were only interested in securing foreign funds.

Their proposal for a Greater Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary was not in the interests of the people of Kodagu, he said.

Power issue

Asked whether he thought that the Janata Dal (S) would hand over power to the BJP, he said the possibility was remote. Both the parties had lost credibility.

He did not rule out the possibility of a mid-term poll after the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.

K. Harish, a member of the Bane Hakku Rakshana Samiti, was present.

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