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Chithralekha begins stir, asserts her right to live

Seeks revocation of State’s order cancelling land allotment

April 17, 2018 07:59 pm | Updated April 18, 2018 09:17 am IST - KANNUR

 Autorickshaw driver E. Chithralekha, who began an indefinite sit-in agitation at Kattampally in Kannur on Tuesday.

Autorickshaw driver E. Chithralekha, who began an indefinite sit-in agitation at Kattampally in Kannur on Tuesday.

Dalit autorickshaw driver E. Chithralekha began an indefinite sit-in on the five-cent land at Kattampally here on Tuesday demanding revocation of the State government order cancelling the allotment of the land made during by previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

Ms. Chithralekha said she would continue the sit-in till the State government withdrew the order.

She said her agony began in 2004 when she started plying her autorickshaw at Payyannur.


The order withdrawing the allotment of land was in continuation of the attempts by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) workers to deny her the right to work and to live, she added.

The State government on March 26 cancelled the land allotment on the ground that she owned a plot at her native village of Edat, near Payyannur. The order came when 60% of the construction work was completed.

The previous UDF government had allotted the land following her round-the-clock dharna in front of the Collectorate for weeks demanding protection for her life and property following incidents of torching her autorickshaw, intimidation and insults, allegedly by local workers of the CPI(M) and CITU workers.

Denial of freedom

“I have been facing casteist persecution and denial of freedom to work and earn my living for several years,” Ms Chithralekha said. She added that her life continued to be stressful as she was at the receiving end of the hostilities. Recently a carcass of a dog had been found on her plot, she said.

Ms. Chithralekha had said earlier that the land at Edat belonged to her grandmother Narayani, who transferred it to her name for allowing her to pledge it to buy the autorickshaw in 2004.

Since then life at that home had been impossible because of the threat from local CPI(M) and CITU workers, she said.

She had to leave Edat a few years ago because of the threat from local party workers, she alleged.

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