The Belgaum Shahar Shetkari Sanghatana, which has taken up the cause of farmers struggling to save their lands from being acquired by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, has alleged that police officials and their staff attached to the Malmaruti Police Station are harassing farmers.
A procession was taken to the DC’s office, against the KIADB had proposal to acquire fertile and irrigated agriculture land off Pune-Bangalore National Highway 4 (Express Highway) falling under Survey Nos 628, 629 and 630 only to allot to a private society controlled by BJP MLA (from Belgaum South) Abhay Kumar Patil. This was being done though the land had been earmarked as Green Belt area.
The farmers are small and marginal landholders. They are raising crops such as paddy, wheat and jowar for their living. However, the KIADB had proposed to acquire their land in an illegal manner and without observing procedural norms only to hand it over to Alpasankyatar Krushi Sahakar Sangh controlled by Mr. Patil.
A complaint was also made to the Governor and the High Court following which the Regional Commissioner of Belgaum Revenue division directed the KIADB against pursuing with the acquisition. Yet, the police were harassing and even arresting innocent farmers and creating panic among their families, it claimed.
The police were behaving in a threatening manner instead of providing protection to these poor families, it alleged. Though the matter was brought to the notice of the Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang, there was no let-up in the harassment by police. It was not clear whether the police stood for the politically influential and the rich or the poor and the weak.
This blog has has been following up this story, see earlier stories