Durai Guna had printed and posted bills advertising job openings for various govt posts including District Collector after officials allegedly took no action against encroachers.

TN activist arrested for unique protest in which he posted job opening for Collector
news Arrest Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 07:54

On August 24, Dalit writer and activist Durai Guna printed and posted bills across Karambakudi village in Pudukottai district, announcing vacancies in government postings. These posters surprised Karambakudi residents since the job applications were invited for the posts of District Collector, District Revenue Officer, Divisional Revenue Officer, Tahsildar and Village Administrative Officer. 

As for the job qualifications? The poster specified “general knowledge, discipline and self-respect”. It further instructed that at the time of interview recommendation from Ministers and others would not be entertained.

Durai Guna’s unique campaign was a jibe at those in power for alleged neglect of duty in removing encroachers from Vettukulam tank in their village. The activist alleged that no action had been taken despite repeated requests to the government to remove encroachers from the tank. According to reports, Guna alleged that three persons were illegally occupying three hectares of the Vettukulam tank and were raising crops. 

Following a complaint from the District Revenue and Collector’s Office, the Karambakudi police filed a case against Guna and the activist was arrested on Monday evening.

An FIR has been filed under non-bailable IPC sections 170 (pretending to hold any post as a public servant) and 501 (printing any matter known to be defamatory). Speaking to TNM, Karambakudi sub-inspector Saravanan says, “We have taken action based on the complaint from DRO and Collector’s office. FIR was filed on the same day the posters were put up. Guna is currently lodged at the station. He is a writer and a social activist but this is first time such a case has been filed against him.”

Pudukottai DRO Shanti confirms that the encroachers have been strictly asked to vacate. She also adds that action had to be taken against Guna for his approach. “Instead of approaching us with a complaint he has tried to defame the department. We have now asked the encroachers to vacate. Since they’ve already sown their crops, we’ve given them two months’ notice to vacate. By October they will have moved,” she tells TNM.

Yet, according to reports, Guna and his team of activists have been repeatedly approaching the Collector’s office with petitions requesting action against the encroachers who have been illegally occupying the area for over 30 years.

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