AMGS says land was allotted for tribal resettlement; to launch agitation

The Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha (AGMS) is preparing to launch a series of State-wide agitations demanding that the government shift the headquarters of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) from a land assigned for a resettlement project of the tribal people at Pookode in Wayanad. Their other demand is a permanent solution to the escalating mortality rate of tribal children at Attappady in Palakkad district.

The organisation will stage a dharna in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on the International Human Rights Day, October 10.

‘Against directions’

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday C.K. Janu, chairperson, AGMS, and M. Geethanandan, convener, Bhooparishkarana Samiti, said that the land in the possession of KVASU at Pookode had been assigned to set up a collective farm for the bonded tribesmen in the district in 1979.

The ongoing works on the land was against the directions of the empowered committee of the Supreme Court.

The vested forest land, close to 531 hectares in Kunnathidavaka village, had been allotted only for the resettlement project. It should not be converted for other purposes, they said.

The Oommen Chandy government was trying to sabotage the tribal resettlement project that had been implemented by A.K. Antony ministry after the Muthanga agitation, they said.

Death of children

Tribal children’s deaths at Attappady were an outcome of the anti tribal policy of the United Democratic Front government, they said. A comprehensive project was the need of the hour to tackle the issue, they said. The AGMS would organise a convention of tribal organisations in the State in Thiruvananthapuram on October 9.

It would constitute litigation committee to decide the course of the agitation and defend eviction from tribal land, they added.