Dalits fear eviction after land owner damages their houses in TN's Kangeyam

The private individual claimed ownership of the land and by using earthmovers, damaged the wall of dalit colonies.
A wall of a house that was damaged as earthmovers were used to level the government land by the landowner
A wall of a house that was damaged as earthmovers were used to level the government land by the landowner(Photo | Express)

TIRUPPUR: Dalit residents in Nizhali Post in Kangeyam say they feel threatened about getting evicted after a private individual allegedly started encroaching government land which lies close to his plot close to their settlement and damaged a few houses while cleaning the land. There are 40 houses in the settlement.

Speaking to TNIE, S Sayathal (50),  a SC resident, said,”I am a daily wage earner and we all belong to the Scheduled Caste community. We built small houses at Sakthi Vinayagapuram in Nizhali Post in Kangeyam 20 years ago. A private individual from the dominant community bought vast tracts of land near our locality. A few days ago, he arrived with a group of men along with earthmovers. When we questioned, they claimed they were levelling the land. Within a few days, they started to level the land near our plot. When they began to remove the boundary stones, we objected to their action. The private individual claimed ownership of the land and threatened us. Using earthmovers, they damaged the wall of dalit colonies. My sister’s house developed cracks on the wall. We feel threatened by his action” K Malliga (42), another resident, said,”Every year, the individual used to clean and level his land, since they get covered with bushes and thorny plants. So, we didn’t bother when workers along with earth mover arrived on the spot. But, this time, they went further and started to level the areas very close to our locality. When we objected, they issued threats. Since, they belong to dominant community and have political connection, we were forced to remain silent”

Adi Tamilar Jananayaga Peravai president K Bowthan said, ”The private individual owns several plots in Sakthi Vinayagapuram. He is planning to develop a real estate plot and he owns 4-5 acres of land on the eastern side of Sakthi Vinayagapuram in Ellapalayam Pudur. He was upset as a dalit  colony was nearby. So, in order to threaten them, he encroached on the land measuring 1 acres near the dalit colony. Besides, he levelled government land and crossed over the land, even damaging the wall of seven houses, by removing the soil using earthmover. The land belongs to the government and it is classified as Odai Poromboke’ (water body).”

Speaking to TNIE, an official from Tiruppur District Administration said, “We have received the petition and will forward it to the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) of Ellapalayam Pudur. The VAO and surveyor will inspect the spot in Sakthi Vinagayapuram and check the records. Based on the outcome, action will be taken.”

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