Staff Correspondent

Aggrieved people stage dharna at Permude Padavu village

Protestors claim that cases related to land in question are pending in court

MSEZ officials state that the disputed land is in their possession since May

PERMUDE (Dakshina Kannada): Some people belonging to Kudubi tribal community and activists of Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samiti staged a dharna at Permude Padavu village on Monday. They were opposing the alleged forcible acquisition of over 15 acres of land belonging to them by the Mangalore Special Economic Zone Ltd. They said that they would not hand over the land to MSEZ as the land issue was pending before a court.

However, in a press release on Monday, the MSEZL stated that the 15-acre plot was in the possession of the company since May, 2008.

Swami Agnivesh, president, World Council of Arya Samaj, participated in the dharna till noon. He alleged that the company was attempting at acquiring the land by force.

While the protestors were staging dharna on a paddy field, two excavators were seen levelling the green land in the nearby area. Lorries were transporting soil to the site and some people were surveying the work amid tight police security.

Eesha Vitaladasa Swamiji of Kemar Sandipini Sadhanashrama arrived on the spot in the afternoon and condemned the moves of the company to take over the land belonging to tribal people. Representatives of Nagarika Seva Trust, a Guruvayanakere-based non-governmental organisation, arrived on the spot in the afternoon, in support of the protestors.

Mallappa Gouda, Korge Gouda, Honnayya Gouda and Giriya Gouda alleged that they were being forced by company officials to part with their land. When contacted Ramachandra Bhandarkar, public relations officer, MSEZL, said: “We are not aware of any such incident. I am going to the spot to see what has happened.”

In a press release Mr. Bhandarkar of the MSEZL said: “The land in question is in our possession since May. Compensation has been accepted by land-owners of 11 acres and notice has been issued to the rest of the land-owners to collect their compensation.”

The Bajpe Police have registered five cases in connection with Monday’s incidents.