Farmers stage sit-in before Collector’s office

A group of farmers, who included tribespeople from Attappady, staged a sit-in in front of the District Collector’s office here on Friday demanding immediate compensation for Mani Mathai, who was killed in a wild boar attack, near Mangalam dam, two weeks ago.

The farmers who went to meet District Collector Mrunmai Joshi after a protest march outside the Collectorate were disappointed as the Collector had been away attending a meeting convened by Speaker M.B. Rajesh at Pattambi.

As none attended to the farmers, they staged a sit-in outside the Collector’s office, protesting against the failure of the authorities concerned in addressing the woes of the farmers who live in constant conflict with the wildlife.

The farmers complained that the compensation of ₹5 lakh assured by the District Collector to the family of Mathai was yet to be given. “When the farmers staged a protest carrying the coffin of Mathai, the Collector had assured that the compensation would be given the next day. Two weeks have passed and no compensation has been given,” said Raymant Antony, district secretary, Kerala Karshaka Samrakshana Association (KKSA).

Revenue officials deputed by Ms. Joshi spoke to the protesting farmers and assured them that the compensation would be released on Saturday.

“After discussions with the Forest Department, they have assured us that the compensation would be released on Saturday,” said Mr. Antony who called for an end to the sit-in protest.

Earlier, KKSA State chairman N.K. Sivaraman inaugurated the march taken out by the farmers to the Collectorate. The march was a part of a Statewide protest demanding Government action to end the increasing wildlife attack. The marchers demanded title deeds to landless farmers living in forest fringe areas.

In 2005, the Government had ordered title deeds to 647 farmers who migrated before 1977. But the Revenue and Forest Departments took no action to implement the Government order.

“The Forest Department is taking action against us for killing wild animals that threaten our lives,” said Mr. Sivaraman, adding that no political party had lent them support. Mr. Antony presided over the function.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 12:35:02 AM |

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