Activist Gireesh Achar assaulted

Gireesh Achar in a hospital in Sagar.  

Social Activist Gireesh Achar, on whose petition Karnataka High Court recently quashed denotification of 260 acres of forest area in Shivamogga district, was allegedly assaulted by unknown people near Mattimane in Hosanagar taluk on Monday. Girish Achar, 41 has been fighting against forest encroachment, illegal stone quarrying and sand mining for more than 15 years.

While he was on the way to Byndoor from Hosanagar on Monday, unknown people stopped him and forcibly took him in their two-wheeler. After travelling for two kilometres they assaulted him seriously.

“I don’t know who they are. Don’t know why they did beat me up. This is the third time happening with me in the last two years”, Mr. Achar told The Hindu. Now he is undergoing treatment at Sagar.

Mr. Achar said he had faced threats because of his fights against illegal activities. “I had complained the officers the encroachment of Aramane Koppa forest area, questioned the cutting of acacia plantations at Hebbige village and illegal grant of forest land. All these cases were in the area close to the place where I was assaulted”, he said. He also alleged that the police at Hosanagar refused to register his complaint on Monday evening.

He had also moved the high court challenging the State Government’s notification denotifying forest land without the approval of the Central Government. The court issued an order, on March 4, quashing the denotification notification.

Jansangram Parishat has condemned the attack and urged the district administration to provide him security, besides arresting the accused in the case. Akhilesh Chippali, district president of the Parishat, told The Hindu that this was the third assault on Achar. “He has protected hundreds of acres of forest land from encroachers. There have been efforts from local influential people to silence him by filing false cases against him. Now also the police have issued him a notice in response to a complaint filed by a woman of Mattimane in December 2020”, he said.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:18:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/activist-gireesh-achar-assaulted/article34026252.ece

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