ANDHRA PRADESH

Fresh clashes in scheduled area renew tension

KHAMMAM, MARCH 24. Fresh clashes between tribals and non-tribals renewed tension in the scheduled area villages in the district. The police and revenue officials, as part of the joint exercise to defuse tension, stepped up their presence in the affected villages. As land in the occupation of the non-tribal farmers was their concern, they took up survey by involving the agencies concerned.

The tribals and non-tribals clashed in Rajapuram village (Jagannathapuram gram panchayat) of Mulkalpalli mandal yesterday, following which about 20 persons were injured in the incident. A non-tribal farmer targeted by the tribal youths armed with bows was injured seriously in the incident and hospitalised. Police were deployed in the village while the revenue official had a meeting with both the sides today.

Peace panel

A peace committee was formed involving the leaders of all political parties, including the CPI(M), CPI (ML New Democracy), CPI, TDP and Congress. The revenue divisional officer of Palvancha, Vinay Mohan, had two rounds of discussions with the peace committee members. He assured them of all help to assign land to the landless.

He made it clear that 19 acres of Government land was available for distribution. The landless families would be given due consideration for allotment of the land, but the leaders of the Grameena Pedala Sangham which backed the tribal insisted on a fresh survey of the lands in the occupation of the non-tribal farmers in the village. The RDO wanted the tribals and non-tribals to help solve the land-related problems in the village amicably. He said that the problem started in the village as some persons tried to loot the cashew crop from the gardens in the enjoyment of the non-tribal farmers. He said that the farmers were also ready to abide by the outcome of the survey taken up in the village. The village is almost back to normality.

Meanwhile, about 500 tribals led by the Grameena Pedala Sangham resorted to encroachment of land in survey no 39 of Sidharam village of Sathupalli mandal. The non-tribal farmers lodged a complaint with the police and removed the red flags put up by the tribals for marking the land occupied by them.

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