'Govt being vengeful': Dalit auto driver Chithralekha starts indefinite strike

Chithralekha began the indefinite strike, demanding the Kerala govt to revoke its order cancelling the allocation of land to her.
'Govt being vengeful': Dalit auto driver Chithralekha starts indefinite strike
'Govt being vengeful': Dalit auto driver Chithralekha starts indefinite strike
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Chithralekha, the Dalit autorickshaw driver from Kerala's Kannur, who has been waging a battle against the left union since 2004, launched a fresh stir on Tuesday.

This time, Chithralekha's protest is against the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) state government, for cancelling the plot of land allotted to her by the previous UDF government. 

She was forced to launch an indefinite strike at her under-construction house in Kannur, after the state government recently issued an order, cancelling the allotment of 5 cents of land given to her a couple of years ago. 

Speaking to TNM over phone, Chithralekha said that she would continue the protest till she gets justice. 

"The state government must revoke its order taking back the land that was allotted to me. Their contention is that I own another piece of land. But this land belongs to my grandmother and was transferred to my name so that I can avail a bank loan. The UDF government checked all these details and then decided to grant me land, treating it as a special case. Then how can the present government revoke it, citing this reason?" Chithralekha asked. 

Chithralekha's troubles began in 2004 when she was prevented from parking her autorickshaw at a stand managed by CITU, the left trade union. Her resistance was met with verbal assaults and casteist attacks. With the state government revoking the order granting her the land, Chithralekha feels that the government is now acting with vengeance. 

"At a time when the government is giving Kovalam Palace to a private group, the government is attacking an ordinary woman like me, who is trying hard to make both ends meet. And then they talk about Dalit upliftment and women’s empowerment!" Chithralekha rued. 

Just last week, a dog carcass was left in front of her house, after which Chithralekha had said that she fears for her life. 

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