Coimbatore

Judicial Magistrate inspects land where huts were removed

Judicial Magistrate M. Senthil Kumar inspecting Suriyur near Panamarathupatti in Salem on Friday.

Judicial Magistrate M. Senthil Kumar inspecting Suriyur near Panamarathupatti in Salem on Friday.   | Photo Credit: E_LakshmiNarayanan

Says Forest Department cited Forest Rights Act and Supreme Court direction

Judicial Magistrate M. Senthil Kumar on Friday inspected the land inside reserve forest area at Suriyur village in Panamarathupatti block where forest officials recently removed 25 huts and cleared the crops cultivated in the land.

The village is located in between Jarugumalai and Jalluthumalai where many families had erected houses and were carrying out agriculture for many years. On January 27, forest officials along with officials from the revenue and police departments removed the huts, cleared the crops and evicted the people residing there. The officials said that the land belonged to the Forest Department and 267 acre was reclaimed.

Murugesan, a villager, submitted petition to the Judicial Magistrate seeking an inquiry into the demolition of their houses, following which a one-man committee headed by retired Judge Rajaram was appointed. Mr. Rajaram held inquiries with the people inside the forest area. However, the villagers wanted the magistrate to hold the inquiry.

On Friday evening, the magistrate along with revenue officials and police personnel walked into the forest for five km from Kuralnatham and reached the village. He inspected the damaged huts, farm land, closed well and held inquiries with the people. Tahsildar Madheswaran told the magistrate that there was no village by the name Suriyur and said that the land belonged to the Forest Department.

The magistrate told the villagers that the Forest Department cited Forest Rights Act and Supreme Court direction and had removed encroachments. However, an inquiry would be conducted to find out whether the villagers could continue using the land for farming activities as they were residing there for many years. He said that a decision would be taken after receiving the committee report.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 2:08:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/judicial-magistrate-inspects-land-where-huts-were-removed/article30716476.ece

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