Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 25 February 2024 4.22 AM IST

Pressure mounts on Munnar evacuation task force


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There is pressure at the administrative level against further actions by the second mission team to remove illegal land occupants in Munnar. Leaders from the CPM have spoken out against the eviction. Although the District Collector has stated that the eviction process will continue, there is still uncertainty in this regard. Approximately 300 land encroachments have been identified in the Munnar region with about 70 of them currently involved in legal cases. The question remains about how far the eviction of the remaining land encroachments will progress.

CPM district secretary C V Vargheese mentioned that the resettlement of migrants in Chinnakanal is seen as an isolated incident based on a court order. Revenue Minister K Rajan emphasized that the government's policy is to address illegal encroachments and law-abiding citizens should not be concerned. Encroachment and immigration are distinct issues. The government is now primarily focused on addressing large-scale land encroachments. The Minister also stated that individuals who own homes and have legitimate means of livelihood will be provided with land.

MM Mani initially strongly criticized the eviction of land encroachments in the morning, but later softened his stance in the afternoon. He expressed discontent with the Revenue Minister's statements. Government-sponsored food will be provided. During the third meeting he inquired why the meeting was held without resolving the issue. He clarified that he does not reside in Thrissur but in Idukki. He disagreed with referring to those who migrated to Munnar as squatters. Mani expressed strong opposition to actions taken by the mission team including the cancellation of leases in order to vacate the land encroachments.

The statement made by MM Mani MLA against the eviction of land encroachments in Chinnakanal is part of proposed solutions for resolving the issue, as per the LDF. Convenor EP Jayarajan conveyed this to the media emphasizing that there will be no issues in Munnar. The concerns of the affected farmers will be addressed. EP highlighted that the left-wing and the government stand in support of the farmers.

CPI leader and former revenue minister KE Ismail responded, noting that the eviction of Munnar by the first mission team in 2007 during the VS government's tenure was an attempt to depict the CPI as usurpers and to gain an advantage for Chief Minister Achuthanandan. It was reported that black-clad people demolished that mission in 2007. During the 2007 eviction, the same Ismail had threatened that the CPI would retaliate against those who demolished the office.

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