Monday, November 01, 2004

Maoists help Dalits occupy lands

CUDDAPAH, OCT. 31. Functionaries of the CPI (Maoist) put up red flags and banners on a 100-acre stretch of mango orchards and groundnut fields belonging to six farmers in Reddivaripalle village of Pedinenikalva panchayat in Tsundupalle mandal.

The Maoists made Dalits plough the mango orchards raised by the farmers -- Subbarama Raju, Venkataraju, Nagaraju and Nalla Gangaraju of Guntharachupalle village and Nagaiah of Edigapalle village -- in the endowment lands belonging to Sri Narasimha Swamy Temple near Nagari on the outskirts of Polimerapalle village.

A Dalit, Madduri Nagaiah, claimed that the lands given by the Government to Dalits in the past were taken over by upper caste farmers.

Another Dalit, Subbaramaiah, said the lands belonged to Dalits and they would cultivate it, whether given by the Government or naxalites. Nagaiah alleged that landlords, under whom their ancestors were bonded labourers, had usurped the lands. Nagaiah said the landlords threatened them with dire consequences whenever they raised the land issue.

Meanwhile, a widow and landowner, Ammanemma, lamented encroachment of their mango orchards by the Maoists. Condemning the incident, the Superintendent of Police, V.C. Sajjanar, questioned if the Maoists considered farmers owning three to five acres landlords. In Warangal, the Maoists occupied 110 acres of agricultural land belonging in Venkatraopalli and Chityal proper late last night.

Source: The Hindu, November 1, 2004

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