Farmers in Wayanad on hunger strike seeking title deeds

A group of farmers under the aegis of Forest Lease Karshaka Samara Samiti began a 24-hour hunger strike at Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad on Wednesday raising a slew of demands, including granting of title deeds for leased land.

Samiti convenor Balakrishnan Panappady said over 3,500 families, including tribal families, in the district had been living on leased forestland under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary for the past several decades. They have no right over the land, as the Forest Department had stopped receiving tax in 2002.

They have been denied all basic amenities such as electricity, good roads, education, and health care. Most families had settled on leased land under the Grow More Food programme of the British government during World War II. Besides being denied compensation for crop loss, banks have constantly declined to grant agricultural and housing loans to the families owing to lack of documents, Mr. Panappady said. If the authorities fail to issue title deeds, the Samiti will launch an indefinite stir, he warned.

The protesters also raised demands such as permitting farmers to construct houses on leased land, provision of basic amenities, and withdrawal of cases pertaining to house construction.

Hindu Aikya Vedi State secretary P.N. Muraleedharn inaugurated the protest.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 8:09:58 AM |

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