The State secretariat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has demanded that the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) clarify its stand on the Kerala Restriction on Transfer by and Restoration of Lands of Scheduled Tribes Act, 1999, while making allegations about alienation of tribal lands in Attappady.
In a statement here, the Secretariat noted that the company operating wind turbines in the area had brought land that originally belonged to tribal people two years ago. However, the initial transfer of the land had taken place before January 1988 as per a report of the Palakkad District Collector. The Act, which was passed with support from both the UDF and the Left Democratic Front (LDF), had validated transfers of land below five acres prior to 1988. Only area in excess of five acres was to be restored to tribal people, and the government was to provide land to other tribal people. A 1975 Act that proposed full restoration of alienated land was nullified following agitations by farmers. The 1999 Act was brought with a view to solve the issue raised by farmers and protect bona fide purchase of lands from tribal people. Now, the Opposition was demanding that the pre-1988 transfer and subsequent purchase by the wind energy company should be cancelled.