Kerala tribal body seeks withdrawal of land stir cases

September 23rd, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kalpetta (Kerala), Sep 23 (IANS) A tribals’ organisation Tuesday decided to start an indefinite fast here from Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of cases filed in connection with Kerala’s Muthanga land agitation in 2003 when the police used force to evict tribal activists from forest land.The Muthanga land agitation took place in Wayanad district in February 2003. Two people, including a policeman, were killed in Muthanga land stir.

Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha (AGMS), the organisation of tribals, demanded distribution of land to the tribals in Wayanad as promised by the government. Kalpetta is the headquarters of Wayanad district.

“Around 500 persons are facing various cases against them in connection with the Muthanga agitation. Though the government had promised to withdraw the cases, it failed to do it,” said M. Geethanandan, an AGMS leader and state co-ordinator for state land reforms committee, an outfit demanding distribution of land to the tribal people.

Geethanandan said the committee is planning state-wide agitations on the issue. “We will start agitation in all districts which have sizeable tribal population.”

The agitation in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram will begin in the first week of October. “We will hold indefinite hunger strike in front of the secretariat,” he added.

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