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Ryots, Dalits who lost their land to mafia pour out their agony

Ryots, Dalits who lost their land to mafia pour out their agony
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"If I have my land, I wouldn't have to be dependent on my children, but these land grabbers are not letting us have our small patch of land.

Bengaluru: "If I have my land, I wouldn't have to be dependent on my children, but these land grabbers are not letting us have our small patch of land. They have bought all the surrounding pieces of land and fenced them off. They are not allowing us any passage to our land", said Ratnamma, a woman farmer from Anekal taluka.

Around 23 cases of land grabbing across 22 districts of Karnataka were presented before a jury headed by retired Justice Nagmohan Das as part of the Public Hearing organized by the 'Nammoorubhoomi Namagirali, anyarigallaa (Let our lands be with us, and not outsiders)' Campaign at Ashirvad in Bengaluru.

The cases presented at the Public Hearing include those related to abuse of Land Acquisition, Bagair Hukum provisions for Public as well as Public Private Partnership development projects taken up by the government. The cases also include grabbing of community lands by land mafia, agricultural lands which are being left fallow because of the real estate mafia, acquired lands being left unused for a long time and grabbing of lands belonging to Dalits. Land grab cases also include lands usurped from small farmers by political and influential people.

Land acquired by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) several decades back, has been left unused for years and no industrial activity has been initiated.

The farmers alleged that while acquiring the land, KIADB had assured jobs to at least one person from the family of those whose land was beingacquired. But since no industrial activities have been initiated for several decades, the farmers who lost their lands have been suffering in absence of any employment opportunities.

The villages whose lands were acquired for the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli have lost their identity. The solar parks established with the involvement of private sector entities had an adverse impact on the agriculture of those areas.

Farmers from several talukas of Bellary, and from Pavagada taluka of Tumkuru district narrated the pain and distress that farmers' have gone through after the solar park was established in their area. Farmers cultivating Bagair Hukum lands for years, described their heart rendering struggle for fulfillment their dream of owning land. The jury included Dr. A N Yelappareddy, Nagesh Hegde, Prof M K Ramesh, Dr. A R Vasavi and Smt. Renuka Vishwanathan. They heard all the cases presented and would be giving their judgment after detailed examination of all the documents submitted.

If I have my land, I wouldn't have to be depend on my children, but these land grabbers are not letting us have our small patch of land. They have bought all the surrounding pieces of land and fenced them off. They are not allowing us any passage to our land

Ratnamma|

A farmer from Anekal taluka

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