Chennai, March 18 (BPNS)
Social activists and the CPM have urged the Tamil Nadu government not to evict the Scheduled Caste families of Samalapuram village in Tiruppur district of Tamil Nadu. The activists also called upon the government to provide ‘Patta’ or land documents to the residents.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Member of Parliament from Coimbatore, P.R. Natarajan led a demonstration of party cadres on Friday in front of the district collector, Tiruppur against forced eviction of Samalapuram residents in the name of Samalapuram water tank. In the speech, Natarajan called upon the government not to evict the SC families in Samalapauram and to hand over them ‘Pattas’ of land documents.
A.Kathir, Executive Director of the NGO, Evidence who are spearheading the movement against the eviction of the SC residents of Samalapuram village.
In a statement on Friday, Kathir said that a fact-finding team from ‘Evidence’ had visited Samalapuram village on March 14th after the Tamil Nadu water resources department had issued an eviction notice to 135 families in Samalapuram village. The water resources department had charged that the Scheduled caste families had encroached on the banks of Samalapuram tank and they should immediately evict from the premises.
The NGO in the statement said that there was a large gap between the waterbody and from the place where the residents were staying.
Kathir said, “ They have constructed their homes and have been staying here for the past 100 years and have the necessary ration cards and voter identity cards which are the government documents in that address.
He also said that the residents had not encroached upon the Samalapuram water tank and had not damaged the water body.
The Executive Director of Evidence also said that the Supreme Court had in a 2011 judgment asserted that the governments cannot retrieve land from landless labourers and members of the Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe populations.
He said that the state government must issue an order to hand over valid land documents to members of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities who had been staying on government-owned lands for a minimum of 20 years or who were regularly paying taxes to the state government.