THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The families evicted by the Kazhakoottam police last Wednesday in compliance with a High Court order in a civil land dispute case have decided to intensify their protest at the Attipra village office here. After seven Dalit families were evicted at Manvila in Kazhakoottam, women, children and the elderly joined in the protest launched at the village office for having evicting them without issuing a notice.
Seven temporary shelters erected on the 47 cents belonging to a private party, which won the lawsuit, were demolished last Wednesday. Attipra councillor Suni Chandran alleged the families were evicted by goons with the protection of the Kazhakoottam police. “We respect the HC order but the way these families, comprising children and elderly persons, were evicted is unacceptable. The order was executed at 5.30am when all of them were asleep. This is happening at a time when the authorities are requesting everyone to stay indoors. Even the SC has ruled that evictions shouldn’t be carried out in the wake of Covid-19. We have decided to carry on with the protest,” Suni said.
ACP R Anil Kumar, Cyber City, Kazhakoottam, said they were only executing the court order and alleged that people are trying to politicise the issue.“This is a 40-year-old land dispute and, unfortunately, the HC ordered against these families. As per records, these families are already evicted but they continued to stay there violating the court order,” he said.
According to the court order, the officer said, they had to provide police protection for eviction and submit a compliance report before the HC before July 31.“We did our duty,” Anil Kumar said.He claimed the eviction was carried out only after 7am, dismissing the allegations as politically motivated. When asked about the SC order restricting eviction drives amid the Covid scare, the officer said the HC issued the order to evict the families after the pandemic outbreak.
Thiruvananthapuram tahasildar S Rajashekaran said the government had no role in the eviction as it is a civil case.“No government department is involved in this case. However, we called them for discussion. A negotiation meeting chaired by the additional district magistrate was held at the collectorate. The private party involved is ready to give compensation to the families but, as far as we know, the evicted families haven’t accepted the offer. We hope the matter would be resolved soon,” he said.