A Correspondent

KALPETTA: Tribal people organised under the Adivasi Aikya Samara Samithi (united protest association) staged a sit-in inside the Appad forests in the Chethalayath forest range in south Wayanad on Tuesday, demanding land under the forest rights Act.

Fifty-five landless families of tribes such as Paniya, Kattunayakka, Kuruma and Kurichya from various parts of the district had tried to take possession of a piece of vested forest land at Appad on Sunday morning. As the forest personnel removed the huts erected by the protesters, the sit-in was started, N. Maniyappan, convenor of the association, said. P.K. Radhakrishnan, chairman, said the tribal people had encroached upon the land in 2002 and the forest personnel had booked them for that. They had to leave the land owing to issues that cropped up after the Muthanga agitation.

The struggle would now be intensified.

Sunil Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer, South Wayanad Forest Division, said the District Collector would convene a meeting with tribal leaders and others on Wednesday.

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