Displacement
Certain that his fertile lands would be seized for an irrigation project, Karunakar attempted to end his life after authorities allegedly began work despite a stay order by the court.
A protest outside Gajwel Government Hospital

A 27-year-old man from Telangana's Siddipet district has been hospitalized in Hyderabad’s Yashoda Hospital after he attempted suicide. His condition is stable, the doctors said. Fearing that the government would seize their agricultural land for the Kondapochamma reservoir project without offering fair compensation, D Karunakar attempted to kill himself on Sunday evening.

The suicide bid triggered violence on Monday outside Gajwel Government Hospital as police lathicharged the villagers who protested against the police’s decision to shift Karunakar to a hospital in Hyderabad.

According to locals, on Sunday, large contingents of police were deployed in Mamidyala village which is one of the three villages which will be submerged in the Kondapochamma project. The government which announced the project in 2016 acquired 2,500 acres of land so far. However, a few allege that they didn’t receive the compensation under rehabilitation and resettlement.

Others including Karunakar approached the High Court seeking implementation of the Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act – 2013. A stay order was subsequently issued by the court.

Despite a stay, police armed with lathis began the bund work at the land site of the village sarpanch Srinivas Goud. A local reporter alleged, “Learning that the court is on summer leave until Wednesday, police tactically began the project works on Sunday.”

Goud's family, Karunakar's family and a few others got into an argument with the police and told them that they were violating the court's order.

However, the police paid no heed to them. “Go tell whomever you want. We are here after receiving orders from the Collector, they said,” alleged Karunakar's brother Raja.

Speaking to TNM, Raja said, “The local police also didn't say anything. We tried speaking with local authorities, but none of them helped us.”

Certain that the government would seize their fertile land at any cost, Karunakar tried to end his life on Sunday evening.

Karunakar

Karunakar was immediately rushed to Gajwel Government Hospital. Soon, several villagers gathered at the hospital. Sensing that the villagers would protest, the police forcibly transferred Karunkar into the police vehicle and were about to shift him to Hyderabad. The agitated crowd got into a heated argument with the police, following which they resorted to a lathicharge.

Ramesh said, “A majority of them sold off their lands, and though it is a fertile land, we too have no option but to sell them. But the government is not giving a compensation according to present market value.”

Karunakar’s family which is entirely dependent on agriculture has 6 acres of land. “All we want is a fair compensation so that we can purchase agricultural land elsewhere. We don’t know anything other than agriculture,” he said.

Authorities from Yashoda Hospital said that Karunakar is recuperating.