Mangalore, August 29: Residents of Kuthluru, a remote town in Belthangady taluk, have accused state government of evacuating them in the pretext of various projects.
Poovappa Malekudiya, a representative of the residents of Kuthluru told media persons here on Tuesday that none of the 25 families residing in the hamlet would vacate the place at any cost.
He said that though they have been residing in Kuthluru, which falls under Naravi Gram Panchaya since generations, consecutive governments have failed to provide basic facilities for them. The village was included within the Kudremukh National Park (KNP) when it was notified under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in June 2001.
Mr Malekudiya said since the Forest Rights Act made it clear that Adivasis could not be relocated from reserve forests before their rights were settled under the Act and their assent for relocation sought, the government has been resorted to the ‘policy of harassment’, to evacuate these inhabitants.
He clarified that most of the residents of Kuthluru were not ready to agree with the “trivial demand” of a Malekudiya woman, who recently wrote to Karnataka Chief Minister seeking two acres of farm land, Rs 10 lakh in cash and a job as compensation to give up the land.
“We are not ready to agree with her personal opinion. Some vested interests are working behind it”, he said, adding that they are ready to fight against the conspiracy of the government under the banner of Karnataka Adivasi Hakkugala Samanvaya Samiti.
“We neither demand any compensation nor give up our land. We are all busy with our agricultural activities”, he said.
He also demanded the government to provide all the basic facilities to the village instead of trying to relocate the villagers. “We need proper roads, government buses and electricity”, he said.
It is the responsibility of the government to issue title deeds for those residents who have not yet received them, he said.
“The on-going harassment in the name of curbing naxalites should immediately be stopped”, he said.
Residents of Kuthluru Vittala Malekudiya, Sudhakara Malekudiya, Vasantha Nada and Shekhar of Karnataka Adivasi Hakkugala Samanvaya Samiti were present in the press meet.