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Two Adivasi families in Kerala's Kasaragod asked to give up their land of 46 years

Collector Bhandari Swagat Ranveerchand said that the survey number of land in possession does not match with survey number on title deed.

Published: 25th May 2022 01:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2022 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

Families of Raghavan Anjillath and Narayani complain to Nileshwar police after unidentified persons entered their disputed property and tried to fell trees and cut bushes at Meerkanam

Families of Raghavan Anjillath and Narayani complain to Nileshwar police after unidentified persons entered their disputed property and tried to fell trees and cut bushes at Meerkanam. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

KASARAGOD: Two Scheduled Tribe families in Karinthalam village are at their wit's end after the district administration ordered them to give up their land of 46 years to the family of a retired Armyman. Narayani (60) and her cousin Raghavan Angilath (54) -- members of the Mavilan Scheduled Tribe community -- own 1 acre and 1.10 acres, respectively, at Karinthalam village.

Over the years, they have grown coconut trees, areca nut trees, rubber, cashewnut trees, and pepper on the land. Narayani shares the house on the one acre with her siblings and their children. "Our fathers bought the land from 'Jammi' (feudal landlord) Karimbil Kannan Nair for Rs 500 each in 1976. We have the title deed to prove that," said Raghavan, who drives an autorickshaw for a living.

"But on April Fool's Day, the collector came here and asked us to give up our land for an Armyman's family. How can we do that," he said. Raghavan's father Mavilan Pokalan died in 2001. One year before that, he transferred his 1.10 acres to Raghavan's name. "I have paid the taxes till 2022," he said

Narayani, a daily wage labourer, is Pokalan's sister Umbichi and Kannan Mavilan Kannan's eldest child (among six children). All of them and their children live on the one acre Kannan Mavilan bought from Karimbil Nair in 1976. The village office accepted land tax from her till 2013. "When the Armyman's family staked claim to our land, the village office stopped accepting taxes from us," she said.

On Tuesday, unidentified goons chopped some coconut saplings and rubber trees on their property said social activist TM Kunhambu. "We cannot be passive bystanders to their aggression. If this is how the district administration and police are going to play, we will picket the (Vellarikkundu) taluk office," he said.

Several tribes organisations such as Malavettuva Sabha and All Kerala Mavila Samajam have extended their support to Narayani and Raghavan.

'The land in their possession and on title deeds does not match'

Collector Bhandari Swagat Ranveerchand said she visited the plots after the Armyman's wife Padmavathi had got a favourable court order. "But it is not just the court order. The revenue officials surveyed the land and found that Raghavan and Narayani were in possession of land in addition to what is on their title deeds," she said.

She said. that the survey number on the ground does not match with the survey number on the title deeds. If they give up the additional land, the government can compensate them with another piece of land. "But they are not ready to swap," Bhandari said.

But Raghavan said he was not ready to move out because the land was with them for 46 years. "And the sketch and the document matched with the land on the ground," he said.



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