Dalits seek land allotted to them under special scheme

Tirupur: A group of dalits from Eswara Chettipalayam near Yerakampatti in Dharapuram taluk petitioned the district collector on Monday seeking to return the land gifted to them under a special scheme for landless farmers in 2006.
One of the petitioners A Subbambal of Yerakampatti said, “The state government has given seven acres of agricultural lands to four Arunthathiyar families, which had never possessed lands at Eswara Chettipalayam in 2006. As per the special scheme, two acres of lands can be given to each landless farmer.”

“We started cultivation in the lands but a few months later, revenue officials including the then village administrative officer and tahsildar visited our lands and requested us to return the original pattas of our lands. Since we were illiterates, we did not have any idea about it. And, we gave them as the officials promised to return after some clarifications,” she said.

“But till now, they have not returned the pattas and we have also lost the lands due to the influence of few villagers, who did not want us to own lands. We are now working as agricultural labourers,” said A Thaamarambal, another petitioner.

“It is unacceptable that the officials have betrayed us for the last 12 years, and they have denied our chances of improving our lives, which are miserable due to inadequate incomes. So, the government should intervene and provide the allotted lands to us,” they added.

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