Residents of Koushika village on the outskirts of Hassan took out a protest march Hassan on Monday demanding the return of gomala (grazing land) to the village. Hundreds of people took out their march from their village to Hassan city on their bullock carts. However, the police stopped the bullock carts at KSRTC bus-stand.
The protesters later walked up to the zIlla panchayat office to submit their demands to Excise Minister and district in-charge K. Gopalaiah, who was holding a meeting there.
Around 20 years ago, the grazing land of the village was acquired by KIADB for industrial purposes. As the land acquired remained unutilised for so many years, it should be returned to villagers, they demanded.
Former Minister and JD(S) MLA H.D. Revanna said if the land remained unutilised for more than five years it should be returned. The officers should resolve the issue, he said. He also pointed out that years ago, agricultural land was acquired by paying ₹50,000 an acre but the same had been sold to investors at ₹40 lakh an acre.
Mr. Gopalaiah said he would resolve the issue after consulting with the officers concerned. “The land was acquired 20 years ago. Allocating gomala land for the village involved technical problems,” he said.
JD(S) MLAs A.T. Ramaswamy, K.M. Shivalinge Gowda, C.N. Balakrishna, MLC Suraj Revanna, Deputy Commissioner R. Girish, and others were present.