Idukki witnesses farmers’ protest after eviction drive

Why is the task force not taking over big resorts, ask farmers at Sinkukandam.

October 19, 2023 08:49 pm | Updated 10:17 pm IST - IDUKKI

Farmers take out a torchlight protest march at Sinkukandam on Thursday in protest against the Revenue department’s eviction drive.

Farmers take out a torchlight protest march at Sinkukandam on Thursday in protest against the Revenue department’s eviction drive. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Farmers at Sinkukandam, near Chinnakkanal, under the Udumbanchola taluk staged a protest in front of the Chinnakkanal village office on Thursday in protest against the Revenue department’s eviction drive. Farmers alleged that the Revenue department was trying to take over their land.

P.N. Jaimon, a farmer in Sinkukandam, said the Revenue department was planning to evict all farmers in Sinkukandam. “The evicted farmers have been cultivating cardamom in the area for the past 24 years. Nearly 300 families live in Sinkukandam and no farmer has yet received title deeds for their lands. Our question is why are the task force members not taking over big resorts in Chinnakkanal,” said Mr. Jaimon.

A view of the farmers from Sinkukandam in Idukki conducted a protest march in front of the Chinnakkanal village office on Thursday.

A view of the farmers from Sinkukandam in Idukki conducted a protest march in front of the Chinnakkanal village office on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The joint action council took out a torchlight march at Sinkukandam town on Thursday evening and hundreds of farmers took part in the protest. The council plans to conduct more protests in the coming days.

CPI(M) unhappy

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) Idukki district leadership, meanwhile, expressed its discontent over the eviction drive. CPI(M) district secretary C.V. Varghese termed the eviction an isolated incident by the Revenue department. “The District Collector said that the department will not take over more properties without proper discussion,” said Mr. Varghese.

However, Collector Sheeba George said she had given no assurances about the task force stopping the eviction drive. “The drive is under court observation and it will continue,” said Ms. George.

‘No right to title deed’

The Collector said the land was taken over after it was found that the land owner had no right to get a title deed for the encroached land. “For a land owner to get the title deed, he has to possess the land from before 1971. This landowner is not entitled to a title deed,” said the Collector. 

Udumbanchola MLA M.M. Mani said he would not welcome the task force’s attempts to take over farmers’ lands in the name of removing encroachments.

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