Tribal organisations of Attappady have rejected the State government's offer to return 85.21 acres of land encroached by the multinational windmill company Suzlon, and the income from two windmills constructed in it, to the tribal people.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had announced this in Thiruvananthapuram after the State Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. But tribal organisations alleged that “this government move is to halt the legal action initiated last year against windmill companies, which allegedly fabricated documents to annex tribal land.”
The government had constituted a high power committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, on tribal land. As per Government Order (GO) No.4866\2010 of November 12, 2010, the government accepted the committee's report and initiated action against officials involved in fabricating documents and getting them registered in Agali sub registrar office. Five government officials of the Attappady Hill Area Development Society and a village officer were suspended.
The committee found that the entire land in survey no.1273 and 1275 of Kottathara village, except 42 acres of forest, was owned by tribal people. The total area of survey no.1275 was 224 acres, of which 42 acres was forest. But 268 acres were registered in the name of windmill companies using fake documents.
Survey no.1273 has only 8.5 acres, which belonged to tribal people. This land was also registered in the name of windmill companies, Sukumaran, convenor of Attappady Samrakshana Samithy said. The high power committee directed the sub registrar to cancel these documents and initiate action against those involved in fabricating it.
“The government's move to settle the issue by giving back 85 acres of land and profit from two windmills to tribal people is aimed at sabotaging the legal action against windmill companies and their agents,” said president of Girijan Seva Samithy U.C. Kunchan. The forums have demanded return of the entire land in survey no.1273 and 1275, which were found to be of the tribal people by the committee.