ALAPPUZHA: The eviction drive that was taken out by the Revenue Department in Alappuzha town and surrounding taluks might have died a slow death. However, those who bore the brunt of the drive are yet to forget it and one family in Karumadi of Ambalapuzha taluk is now threatening to commit suicide if their land is not returned to them.
V. Mohanan, his wife Jayashree and sons Manu and Mithun allege that the revenue officials and the police had demolished the compound wall of their house and ordered them to demolish a portion of their home even when there was “no encroachment” at all.
Mr. Mohanan furnished copies of government documents, which certify that he was given seven cents of land under the jurisdiction of the Karumadi village after being included in the category of landless poor farmers in 1981.
He also has receipts to prove that the Revenue Department had been charging land tax from him regularly for this land, along with the 45 other cents that he owned.
“However, the same department suddenly comes and says that I was given only six cents and that I have to demolish a portion of my home which stands on that portion.
“All the documents were produced to prove that I was given seven cents and that I have been paying tax for the land. Still, they want to take away that crucial one cent and are not ready to check my documents. Moreover, they did not issue any notice to me,” he said.
The revenue officials also twice took away coconuts from the coconut grove that he had developed on the small piece of land over the last 20 years.
“I submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the Revenue Minister and officials, including the Revenue Secretary, asking them to inquire into this issue and to tell the officials that I have not encroached upon anyone’s land.
“There has been no response so far. That is why we have decided to stage a hunger strike in front of the Karumadi village office on October 8 and if there is still no response, we will have no option but to commit suicide in front of the District Collectorate,” Mr. Mohanan said.