Congress approaches SC Commission over land acquisitions

Congress senior leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha has approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes alleging forced acquisition of land belonging to Dalits by the TRS Government in Telangana State.

In a petition submitted to National Commission for SCs member PM Kamalamma, the Congress leader accused the TRS Government of adopting manipulative tactics to displace and destruct the livelihoods of landless labourers belonging to SC communities.

“It is observed that across Telangana, in the name of development projects, the Government of Telangana is destroying the livelihoods of SCs/ Daliths and violating their fundamental statutory rights. The Government of Telangana, which is supposed to be the custodian of the Indian constitution, has unfortunately become the violator of the Constitution and thereby we, SCs/ Daliths, have become most helpless and vulnerable. And our very survival is endangered,” said Rajanarasimha in his petition.

Rajanarasimha alleged that thousands of farmers, land tenants, agriculture labour, artisans and several other dependents on the village economy were being displaced due to the land acquisition process. “There is a sizable population of SCs/ Daliths among these farmers, agriculture labour and land tenants,” he said.

“It is mandate that the government of Telangana to administer the resettlement and rehabilitation program by implementing RTFCATLARR Act -2013, protecting our basic rights and livelihoods. However, to our utter dismay, the Telangana Government arbitrarily brought in GO.MS.123 and is scuttling our statutory rights and destroying our livelihoods,” Rajanarasimha said.

He accused the State Government of “literally bulldozing and blackmailing” the farmers to sell their lands. He said that the Go.Ms. 123 do not provide any social security and facilitate resettlement and rehabilitation. Quoting various sections of TFCATLARR-2013, he said that the affected people deserve a better compensation package as per the law which is being denied by the State Government.

Further, Rajanarasimha said that the acquisition was being done without undertaking the mandatory Social Impact Assessment Study. He said that landless labour were completely neglected in GO. MS 123. “There is a sizable population of SCs without any land ownership in the projected affected areas and our livelihood is directly dependent on their labor work we do in these agriculture lands being submerged and we have no other source of livelihoods. Being illiterate and semi-literate Daliths, they do not possess any other skills accepting to do manual agriculture labour work,” he said.

Therefore, the Congress leader sought immediate intervention of National Commission for SCs to protect the rights and livelihood of thousands of Dalit families. (INN)