The taluq administration in Kodagu has destroyed the shanties built up for shelterless Adivasis and Dalits. They were built in survey number 337/1 in Balagodu, which comes under the Permbadi panchayat of Virajapet taluk of Kodagu district.
Yesterday afternoon at 12.30 came in Tehsildar Mahesh, RI Rangappa and others to the site and threatened the people over there before razing all the shanties to the ground.
Government officials were not content with just razing them. Police also assaulted a young activist, Hemanth who questioned the grounds of demolition. Hemanth has been working on the Right to land and shelter struggle ( Bhoomi Mattu Vasati horata) of Adivasis in Kodagu districts for some years.
Adivasis were also threatened with serious cases being slapped against them for trying to obstruct the razing work. Police inspector Ramareddy Veena threatened the activist on behalf of AC and Tehsildar.
District administration is mulling over a project of building a garbage disposal unit in the same area by evicting the poor people there. More than 200 people belonging to 57 families of SC, ST and OBC communities who lived here have been displaced. People were taken aback by the sudden eviction and have resolved to continue their fight.
The young activist Hemanth, who is now recovering in the government hospital in Virajpet spoke with Gauri Lankesh News- “The people living here are the ones who couldn’t stand the exploitation meted to them in coolie line and have been living in this government space since many years. Now the police is brutalising these innocent people. I was assaulted just because i questioned their actions. Police is taking away all the necessities like groceries from these people. We won’t be cowed down by these threats. The poor will intensify their struggle.”
The Dalit and Adivasi families living here had made numerous appeals to the district collector and Tehsildar office but they have not taken any actions till now. Now suddenly they brought the police with them and threatened the people before destroying the shanties’- accused local leader Monnappa.
He accused that the local BJP MLA KG Bopaiah is behind this eviction process without making any alternative provision for the original inhabitants of this country to live.
Right to Land and Shelter struggle committee (Bhoomi-Vasati Vanchitara Horara Samiti) strongly condemned the attack on the poor and activists; they also condemned illegal and ruthless act by the nexus of MLA, Administration-police Goondas. The forum demanded that strict action should be taken against those who committed this act and houses to be built in the same government place for the shelterless people.