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The agitating Dalit farmers said that 22 acres of land had belonged to them for decades.

Andhra village tense after Dalit farmers forcibly ousted for irrigation workLocals interact with YSRCP leaders on Friday.
news News Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 08:49

Tensions continued to remain high on Friday near Andhra's Devarapalle village in Prakasam district, over the mass eviction of Dalit residents from the Krishnam Raju Kunta land.

According to reports, YSRCP, left parties and Dalit groups staged a protest along with the oustees, claiming that they had been cultivating the same land for the last 6 to 7 decades and the government could not take over their agricultural fields. 

On Thursday, the police cordoned off several routes leading to the village and detained around 40 Dalits, and beefed up security across the mandal.

The situation got tense, as news spread through the village, that construction work had started at the land, with police protection.

The Dalits said that the land was given to them for having undergone family planning operations voluntarily, for decades.

"Opposition party activists and Dalits in the village were detained to prevent flaring up of a law and order problem. The situation in the village is peaceful," Superintendent of Police B. Satya Yesu Babu told The Hindu

The New Indian Express reported that the agitating Dalit farmers said that 22 acres of land in survey No 54/1 was in their possession for more than six decades, and they were even issued land pattas in 1975. 

Denying the revenue officials’ claim that it was poramboke land, a farmer asked TNIE, “How can they say it is a poramboke land, when it is under cultivation and pattas were issued for it?"

Meanwhile, YSRCP leaders and Ongole MP YV Subba Reddy called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the National SC/ST Commission Chairman in New Delhi, and asked them to intervene in the issue.

Addressing the locals on Friday, Reddy informed them that he had registered complaints in New Delhi, and said that YSRCP chief Jaganmohan Reddy also supported their case, to ensure that the land is returned to them.

“When we were preparing to visit the village, the police forcefully took us into custody. Learning about the authorities digging the tank amid tight security, Jaganmohan Reddy asked us to visit you and assure that we will be with you in the fight for justice,” YSRCP Prakasam district president Balineni Srinivasa Reddy was quoted as saying.

On Friday, locals also burnt the effigy of Parchur MLA Eluri Sambasiva Rao, as he was the one who had reportedly asked the district administration to evacuate the Dalits, claiming that they were encroaching on government land.

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