People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 48

November 29, 2009

Land Scams in Tamilnadu

CPI(M) Demands CBI Enquiry

THE Tamilnadu state committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded a CBI enquiry over the large-scale land scam, which affects the livelihood of thousands of farmers in southern Tamilnadu.

In the southern port district of Thoothukudi, nearly 3,140 acres of farmland were transferred to land brokers and real estate big business barons by means of fake documents. Particularly, in Ootapidaram taluk of this district, the farmers of villages like Sillankulam, Saravanapuram, Paramanpacheri and Malaipatti have lost their lands. Nearly 1200 acres of land were sold to big land mafia belonging to Karnataka and Mumbai. The irony is that the farmers, who are the real owners of the lands, did not know about who bought their lands and who sold their lands; they were even not aware that their lands had been sold.

Another set of land scams came to light in the border villages of the southern districts like Sivaganga and Virudhunagar. There, hundreds of tenant farmers were cultivating nearly 1200 acres of land. These lands belong to Madurai Adheenam. This is one of the mutts in Tamilnadu, belonging to the followers of Shaiva sect, of Hindu religion. The tenant farmers were making their livelihoods by cultivating these lands for the past 100 years and they still are paying fees to the administration of the mutt.

However, one fine morning three months back, they came to know that the mutt had sold the entire 1200 acres of land to a huge real estate businessman from Pudhucherry and arranged a powerful electric fencing around the entire area. Now, the tenants, who lost their lands, have no way to eke out a living.

Both these issues have been taken up by the CPI(M) and Tamilnadu Vivasayikal Sangam, affiliated to the AIKS. For the past three months, various struggles have been conducted. But the DMK government is not ready to take action against the culprits.

In this background, meeting at Chennai on November 13 and 14, the CPI(M) state committee has demanded a CBI enquiry into these land scam issues. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadharajan, state secretary N Varadharajan and the party�s Central Control Commission chairman N Sankaraiah attended the meeting.

The state committee has also opposed the land acquisition for the proposed SIPCOT Industrial Parks in Thoothukudi and Madurai districts by the government of Tamilnadu. The government is trying to acquire 1500 acres of land near Thoothukudi and 2000 acres near Madurai. All these are fertile farmlands. The state committee asked the government to give up its plan to grab the fertile land from the hands of thousands of farmers; it can proceed with its projects to set up huge industrial parks by utilising the vast area of wastelands, near these fertile lands.

The state committee also urged the government of Tamilnadu to take up in full swing the flood relief measures urgently required in the hills of the Nilagris, which had been worst hit by the recent rains and floods. As many as 43 people had died in huge landslides there in the previous week.

The party also appealed to its cadres to participate in the relief work.