Karnataka

Police deployed as freed bonded labourers demand land for cultivation

Dalit families of Gangoor have put up thatched huts on the land, which belongs to the Forest Department of Karnataka.  

Hassan district administration deployed hundreds of policemen at Ganguru in Arakalgud taluk of Hassan district on September 7 as freed bonded labourers prepared to cultivate Gobbali forest land, to highlight their demand for grant of the land.

Dalit families of Ganguru, who were freed from bonded labour in 1994, have been demanding grant of land since then. For decades, they cultivated a part of Gobbali reserve forest land. But, the Forest Department evicted them on April 1, 2021.

Govindaiah of Ganguru said, “We have been cultivating this land for decades. After we were freed from bondage, we were allowed to cultivate this land. But, now we are not being allowed to enter this area. Today, we have planned to cultivate the land.”

Except a few, the freed bonded labourers have no land to cultivate.

Thimmaiah of Ganguru said, “With no source of income, we are forced to go back to work as bonded labourers.”

The villagers have put up thatched huts on the forest land as a mark of protest.

Arun C.R., Range Forest Officer (RFO) of Arakalgud, said, “The land where they have put up huts is part of reserved forest. We cannot allow them to stay here. The district administration will take care of their demand for land.”

 

The villagers are staging a protest under the banner of Dalit Hakkugala Samiti. CPM district secretary Dharmesh, Madiga Dandora Samiti district president Vijay Kumar, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti leader Rajashekhar are leading the protest.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:14:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/police-deployed-as-freed-bonded-labourers-demand-land-for-cultivation/article36331884.ece

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