Trouble in KCR’s backyard

Telangana Farmers from KCR’s own constituency revolt against  TRS government

Telangana chief minister KCR

First resistant movement has begun in Telangana state. Farmers in about 14 villages, which are facing the threat of submergence in Mallanna Sagar Reservoir in Medak district, are up in arms against the proposed  reservoir. The farmers have been on relay fast for two weeks and a a farmer Karunakar committed self-immolation when he saw the prospect of losing the land for the project.

Karunakar, a thirty year old farmer from Erravalli,  a village which shot into fame after chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao performed  Ayata Chandiyagam some time back, set himself ablaze on June  1 .He was rushed to a Hyderabad hospital, where he died on Monday.  This suicide goes down in the Post-Telagana political history as the first suicide against the TRS government and its grandiose plans to build Bangaru Telanana.  Some say this is the second suicide of this kind the first one happened in similar land related case in Bhupalapalli area.

Whether Karunakar would attain martyrdom or not, his death marks the beginning of a new wave of resistance moment in the infant state and what is troublesome for the ruling TRS is that  this disturbance erupted in the chief minister’s own constituency, Gajwel.

Of the fourteen villages that are upped the ante against KCR’s government decision to construct the  Mallanna Sagar Reservoir, half fall in Gajwel Constituency and the rest in Dubbaka constituency, represented by TRS MLA Ramalinga Reddy.  As the areas fall in the Gajwel constituency, many Telangana democrats and intellectuals, though aware of the trouble in KCR’s backyard, maintained low profile till the news of Karunakar’s self-immolation . Many of them don’t want to irritate KCR as any talk against KCR is likely to be portrayed as anti-Telanagana.

Braving the hostile reaction from the TRS ministers and MPs, Telangana Political JAC chairman Prof Kodandaram visited two villages, where farmers are on fast for two weeks.  Kodand  addressed them at the fast site and assured them all possible help in their fight against the injustice. The following is the  version given by Professor Kodandaram in an interview to on Tuesday morning.

Prof Kodandaram

“Their villagers are in shock. They are spending sleepless nights. They are passing through a trauma, created by the mighty state power which is threatening them to give up their lands at a meagre compensation. Farmers have been asked to go to the MRO office and sign the papers transferring the land at a price of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per acre. According to farmers, the land, which is giving them two crops a year, has a market value from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh,” he said.

He further said, “The people have been kept in dark about the construction of such a big project with a capacity of 50 TMC. Suddenly, the farmers said, the revenue officials descended on the villages and announced  government’s decision to take lands. No notification has been issued. No public hearing has taken place. Even the provisions of Land acquisition have not been invoked to acquire the land. A GO 123 has been used to acquire the land. No land for land assurance is given.  And for those who do not possess any land nothing is being offered. According to the people the collector has not promised house for house and land for land as per the Act. Here in the case of Mallanna Sagar, the GO, which should be the child of the Act, is taking precedence over the Act.”

He said the Political JAC would help them in creating awareness about the Land Acquisition Act 2013 and other court verdicts on the process to be followed for land acquisition to continue their fight till the got the justice.

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