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HC directs govt not to disturb Kankur farmers

HC directs govt not to disturb Kankur farmers
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In a major relief to assignee farmers of Kankur hamlet, Maddikunta Gram Panchayat, Jaipur Mandal of Mancherial district who were facing threat of eviction by Forest Department, the High Court at Hyderabad directed the State government not to disturb their possession and maintain status quo.

Hyderabad: In a major relief to assignee farmers of Kankur hamlet, Maddikunta Gram Panchayat, Jaipur Mandal of Mancherial district who were facing threat of eviction by Forest Department, the High Court at Hyderabad directed the State government not to disturb their possession and maintain status quo.

Justice A V Sesha Sai gave interim order on Wednesday while hearing the Writ petition filed by Yadanaveni Bapu and 10 other assignee farmers from Kankur hamlet seeking protection from Forest Department authorities’ attempts to dispossess them without following due process of law.

The petitioners contended that only a preliminary notification expressing intent to reserve certain extents of land in their village as Reserve Forest was issued under Section 4 of the then Andhra Pradesh Forest Act, 1967, that too way back in 1969. But subsequent steps mandated under the said Act like calling for objections from persons interested in that land, disposing of such objections, and if necessary acquiring the lands under Land Acquisition Act etc were never completed.

It was also pointed out that the Act clearly states that a land can be considered to be Reserve Forest only if such steps have been taken and a final Notification is issued under Section 15 of the Act. The judge during previous hearing directed the Government Pleader for Forests to get instructions as to whether any subsequent steps were taken after issuing of preliminary Notification.

When the Government Pleader for Revenue in Wednesday’s hearing sought time to file counter affidavit by next week, the counsel for the petitioner pressed for an interim order citing the fear of farmers due to heavy mobilisation of police force for dispossessing them.

The judge after hearing the arguments granted interim order directing the authorities to not dispossess the petitioner assignee farmers and maintain status quo in regard to possession as on today.

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