CHIKKAMAGALURU: With Malnad Region being nestled in the Western Ghats with its hills, valleys and forests, it is common to expect friction between forest officials and the landless.
The landless poor have to fight with revenue and forest officials to get land in form numbers 50, 51 and 57. Many applications are rejected on technical grounds. Some months back, Dalits had occupied an extent of land near Seegodu in Balehonnur Hobli illegally and put up temporary sheds in the forest area. But forest officials evicted them and secured the land with a fence.
In a similar incident on Monday, a group of 60 people barged into the reserve forest region, put up tents and installed a bust of dalit icon BR Ambedkar.
In survey number 52 at Arisianguppe under Mallenahalli division, there is 275 acre of forest land. Residents of Lakshmipura, including women, led by DSS illegally entered the forest region and pitched tents.
Soon after territorial forest division officials came to know of this, they rushed to the spot and told the agitators that no non-forest activity could be taken up there as the Churche Gudda falls under the deemed forest zone. Following this, a verbal duel broke out between the forest staffers and the protestors.
Territorial forest division RFO Shippa tried to convince the agitators saying that land was notified as forest zone under Section 4 and any structure could not be built illegally there.
Even the revenue inspector tried to convince the encroachers to vacate but they stayed adamant saying that they will not move till land was given to them.