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Kerala Left plans to evict Adivasis

Kannur (Kerala): The dust of Nandigram has not settled yet and there's trouble brewing for the Left government in Kerala over land aquisition.

The state government which had bought land in the Aralam farm to help landless tribals now plans to evict them and the adivasis are now up in arms.

"We will not leave this land come what may. My grandfather, father and I were born here and our blood is part of this soil," said leader of the adivasis, Moopan.

At the centre of the conflict is 7,500 acres of Aralam farm purchased by the state government from the Centre to resettle tribals.

For this, the state government spent Rs 42 crore from funds allocated for tribal welfare.

But now it says land allocation would be possible only if all those living there are evicted and the adivasis feel that the hidden agenda of the CPI-M is behind this move.

In the year 2001, the Congress-led government issued an order saying all adivasis holding less than one acre of land will be given land inside the farm.

But the present Left government says only those with less than one-fifth of an acre will be eligible for allotment. This, many allege, would leave a vast tract of fertile land with the government.

"Our policy is to give land first to those who don't have even one cent of land," said Minister for Home of government of Kerala, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha says many of the encroachers are CPI-M workers waiting for orders to evict other tribals.

"The CPI-M has already brought in party-backed goons into this farm. They are spreading terror among the natives here. In the name of allocating land, the government will give land to their supporters," said Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha activist, Sreeraman Koyyon.

As the adivasis gear up for the battle ahead, Aralam is all set to become the next flash-point in the struggle for land after Nandigram.

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posted by Resistance 4/07/2007 12:17:00 AM,

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