Madikeri: Keeping the recent Diddali protests in mind, a meet organised by Small Growers’ Association and Maldare GP on Monday resolved to demand probe on incident of some deceiving the tribals by collecting from them, to ensure that the Rs 1 cr allocation by the government after the protests would be used for the welfare of genuine tribals of Diddalli and continuing the prohibitory orders in Diddalli till situation changes for better, specifically the relation between the tribals and local coffee growers.
Tribal leader Indira, addressing the gathering said that there are several people who have shifted to Diddalli claiming that they are tribals. Their intention is to get the benefits that the government provides to the tribals and also ensure that the genuine tribals are shown in bad light.
“The genuine tribals of Maldare must not allow the conspiracy of these outsiders to fructify,” she said demanding government to make sure that tribals across the state get a descent standard of living.
She noted that there was a time when growers of the region and the tribals shared a very cordial relation. But, evers ince these intruders have settled in Diddalli and nearby areas, the relationship between the growers and the tribals has turned sour.
“These outsiders are provoking the tribals and making the latter stand against the growers. This needs to be condemned,” she said adding that due to the drift, the growers have stopped employing the tribals in their plantations and it now seems that the goal of the intruders has been achieved.
Further, coming down heavily on Muthamma, a tribal woman who resorted to staging a nude protest, Indira said that she had violated Human Rights and hence action must be taken against her.
Maldare GP former member Beeju Bidappa said that Diddalli region is now under influence of mafia. Attacking those who said that the Diddalli tribals are being kept as bonded labourers by the plantation owners, Bidappa said that those who are making these allegations do not know the meaning of ‘bonded labour’.
“The tribals are being paid way more than the stipulated minimum wage. There is a strong conspiracy going on to tarnish the image of the plantation owners,” Bidappa opined.
Many also condemned those who argued that the Maoists had no role to play in Diddalli protest. “Maoists do not come wearing a nameplate that they are Maoists,” they said.
Virajpet Taluk Panchayat Member Chennamma, Tribal leaders among others were present.