Raid on tribals: CPI demand

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JUNE 1. The CPI district committee has urged the Government to rehabilitate the tribal family evicted by the Forest Department from the Vitticad settlement in the foothills of Ponmudi and compensate them for the destruction of crops.

A press note quoting the party district secretary, P., Ramachandran Nair, said the family of four was camping in the forest after the incident. It alleged that a section of Forest officials had carried out the eviction on the instigation of a mafia involved in illicit distillation of liquor and smuggling of forest wealth.

Party leaders including the State council member, Venharamoodu Sasi, and the district executive member, K.R.Vikramaraj, who visited the site said the tribals had incensed the mafia by passing on information to the law enforcement agencies.

They alleged that the Forest officials and policemen had assaulted Mathen Kani and his sister and destroyed standing crops including rubber, banana and pepper.

The CPI leaders said the tribals had suffered a damage of Rs.5 lakhs.

Demanding rehabilitation of the tribal family and compensation for damages, they asked the Government to take action against the Forest and police officials involved in the raid.