Udupi: War of Words Between CMC Commissioner and KRALA Members for Prohibition of Protest

Udupi: A war of words was witnessed between the members of the Karnataka Regional Agricultural Laborers Association (KRALA) and CMC Commissioner Manjunathayya, for denying KRALA from holding a protest in front of the CMC office here, on November 20.

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The members of KRALA had gathered in front of CMC to hold a protest against the administration for failing to provide plots to laborers and landless people. They raised slogans against the CMC and demanded the administration to provide land deeds of the plots allocated to the poor people. CMC Commissioner Manjunathayya who had earlier denied granting permission for the protest urged the protesters to cooperate with the administration as they were creating hurdles for the general public in the CMC premises. He also said that he had denied permission for the protest in the premises of CMC office and the issued order has been clearly violated.

The protesters who were angered by the CMC Commissioner’s stand on not allowing them to protest, shouted slogans. They also said that they felt as if an emergency was being imposed in the CMC premises. Later, Srikant, CPI Udupi, intervened and urged the protesters to submit their appeal and disperse. He also said that a government order was in force which says that protests can be held only in the front of the Deputy Commissioner’s and Tahsildar’s office. The protesters who were later convinced by CPI Srikanth’s intervention submitted a memorandum and dispersed.

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Venkatesh Koni, district secretary of KRALA addressing the protesters said that 2461 applications for sites had been submitted to the Tahsildar’s office for approval but since no follow up was made, the list of site distribution for the landless laborers had not been prepared. 475 applicants under ‘A’ list should be provided with houses in an apartment system. Illegal dwellings and encroachment should be lawfully dealt with and the land seized should be given to the poor people. 280.67 acres of land illegally encroached in 25 villages should be seized. The Assistant Commissioner of Kundapur has reserved 1.91 acres of land for site distribution in Puttur and Udupi but no initiative has been taken by the CMC in this regard. The Town Development Authority had collected Rs 500 as fees in 1999 from the landless people for the plots but until now, no plots have been provided to them and this matter should be inquired.

H Vittala Poojary, K Laxaman, Umesh Kunder, Kaviraj, K Shanker, P Vishwanath Rai, Nalini, Madhav Saligrama, Ram Karkada and others were present.

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