Buffer zone: AK Saseendran calls on Kanjirappally bishop
At the same time, Kanjirappally bishop said the Church would continue the agitation. “Our objective is to inform the government about the concerns of the people living in these areas.
Published: 06th January 2023 06:32 AM | Last Updated: 06th January 2023 06:32 AM | A+A A-
KOTTAYAM: Even as protests brew among settler farmers across the state over issues related to buffer zone, Forest Minister AK Saseendran on Thursday visited Mar Jose Pulickal, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Kanjirappally.
As part of the efforts of the government to allay the concerns of the Church, the minister held talks with the bishop and assured that the government would take all steps to protect the interests of people living in buffer zone areas. “We have already clarified all the things (related to the buffer zone issue) to the people who raised concerns and they are satisfied with the clarification. Kanjirappally bishop is also satisfied now,” he said.
At the same time, Kanjirappally bishop said the Church would continue the agitation. “Our objective is to inform the government about the concerns of the people living in these areas. It is the government that is responsible for initiating action. We hope that the government will act as per the assurance given by the chief minister and all the required reports will be submitted (in the court),” he said. The church also made it clear that the ongoing protests were not directed at the government.
The Church had earlier urged the state government to sort out the buffer zone issue in such a way that not even a single family in the high-range settlements is affected. To press the case, it also organised a mass public protest at Mundakayam - gateway to the high-range settlements in Central Travancore, on December 30.
Meanwhile, Anto Antony, MP, who represents the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency, on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Saseendran over his statement regarding the status of the Pampa Valley and Angel Valley villages as forest land in the buffer zone markings. The minister’s statement that the forest department held no claim over both the villages after submitting the satellite survey report in the Supreme Court is a farce, the MP said.