News Karnataka
Saturday, January 28 2023

Abrupt end to Diddalli protests after government initiates action

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Madikeri: The protest by 577 displaced tribal families after the forest department evicted them came to an end after the State Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya assured them of providing temporary shelter within a month’s time.

According to the minister, the displaced tribal families will be accommodated near the Ashrama School in the vicinity of the protest site or a nearby location not far from the displaced area and provided with basic amenities.

On the instruction of the chief minister to the social welfare minister, Rs 1 Crore has been transferred to the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner’s account for the purpose.

Had the district administration acted when the tribals set up temporary shelters, the situation would not have reached this far, the minister opined.

Some leader had assured most of the displaced of providing housing and brought them to Diddalli and in the process had made some money too, the minister alleged.

Tribals working in different estates and staying in different line houses were entrapped by the offer and in the process had ended up paying money to the leader who assured them of sites. They had borrowed money from the estate owners to pay the leader, minister explained.

People residing in nearby areas feel that the tribals, in the past, used to construct huts in government Paisari land and regularise the same using “Akrama-Sakrama” scheme and many had tasted success this way. Most own small houses today with little vacant space around their dwelling to plant few banana or other saplings. Anticipating similar outcome many homeless tribals left their estate accommodation and started residing in tents until forest department evicted them. They were braving tough weather conditions and managed to survive in temporary hutments with a hope of getting a site and a shelter of their own after protests gathered momentum.

The elected representatives are keen on providing accommodation to tribals though some feel this move will create a rift between estate owners and labourers in the future with a probable clash of interests between the employers and the workers.

The massive protest rally in support of tribals and Sankalp Samavesh on December 23 was a huge success. Many leaders supporting Adivasi or tribals is a good sign as it would help in the latter’s development. In case, the intention is to instigate the labourers against the estate owners, it may give rise to other problems in the future.

Adequate security arrangements have been made including installation of CCTV cameras at the protest site.

One has to wait and see whether the government move will bear the fruit?

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