The State and the Central government must take immediate steps to retrieve and redistribute the Panchami lands in the district to the rightful sections of the Dalit community, said the Dalit People's Progressive Front and the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry Land Rights Federation at Veerarakkiam near here on Saturday.

At the meeting held in connection with Dr. Ambedkar birth anniversary, speakers pointed out that so far a total of 484 acres had been identified as Panchami land in the district as per the revenue records.

Since they were held by those who had no legal right over the Panchami lands, the authorities must take concrete and immediate steps to retrieve the 484 acres from the encroachers and usurpers to redistribute the lands among landless poor Dalit agricultural labourers.

A resolution passed at the meeting called upon the Karur district administration to ensure that Cauvery water reached all the 157 village panchayats in the district through the combined water supply scheme and deploy beneficiaries under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for agricultural activities during farming season.

Protect water bodies

Through another resolution the forum stressed the need to prevent further degradation of rivers and water bodies due to discharge of industrial effluents following the court directive to protect water bodies. Front district secretary Karikalan welcomed the gathering, while Balarajapuram panchayat president Mahamuni presided over the meeting. Unorganised Sector Workers Association district secretaries Velu and Rajasekar and federation treasurer Senthil Kumar participated.