The Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha observed the ninth anniversary of the Muthanga tribal agitation and commemorated Jogi, a tribesman who died in police firing during the stir, at Thakarappadi, near Muthanga, on Sunday.
The programme started with a Gothra Puja at 8 a.m., led by the tribal chieftains Maran of the Ancham Adiya tribal colony and Maniyan of the Irupatham colony, near Mananthavady.
C.K. Janu, chairperson of the Mahasabha, told The Hindu that though nine years had passed, successive governments had failed to provide land for the landless tribal agitators.
Ms. Janu said the Muthanga agitation was a great gain for the tribal people, as it could draw the attention of the ruling class to their issues.
She said the organisation was planning a tribal meeting and a cultural collective in front of the Secretariat on March 13 in connection with the ninth anniversary. The meeting would raise various demands, including implementing a rehabilitation package and providing compensation to evicted tribal people.
On January 5, 2003, a group of close to 3,000 tribal people from 800 families, under the aegis of the Mahasabha, started their agitation by encroaching on a piece of forest land at Thakarappadi in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and erected huts there.
The agitation got national-level attention when Vinod, a police constable, was hacked to death and Jogi was killed in police firing on February 19. As many as 725 tribesmen from different parts of the district were arrested on charges under the Wildlife Protection Act.
They were acquitted of two cases by a magistrate court in Sulthan Bathery on August 2, 2011.
Later, the government cancelled all forest cases against them.