Bangalore: After having staged protests against “inaction” of the government against land-grabbers for nearly a month, a group of protesters have decided to launch an indefinite fast till all their demands are met.
Seven activists of the Anti-Land-grabbing Action Committee led by Aam Admi Party leader Ravi Krishna Reddy will go on an indefinite fast from Monday.
The committee, led by freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy and the former legislator A.T. Ramaswamy, who headed the Joint Legislature Committee on encroachment and grabbing of government land in Bangalore, have been protesting in front of Sir Puttanna Chetty Town Hall from September 8. They are demanding immediate action against encroachers of government land, and establishment of special courts to try land-grabbing cases.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra had met delegations of protesters in September and assured them of making efforts to enact the Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2007, which is awaiting the Presidential assent, following which special courts could be set up. However, nothing has materialised yet.
Mr. Ramaswamy alleged that the government was entrapped by real estate mafia and there was lack of political will to enact the law. He alleged that the Chief Minister was clever in his response as he only spoke of land encroachment and not land-grabbing. He said land encroachment was nothing compared to land-grabbing, which involved influential people creating fake documents and claiming the ownership of government land.
Mr. Doreswamy said: “Leave alone the enactment of the Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2007, the State government stands exposed as it has failed to implement the reports of the A.T. Ramaswamy and V. Balasubramanian committees that brought to light cases of large-scale grabbing and encroachment of government land in the State.”
Mr. Reddy demanded that the government demonstrate its commitment by booking all those facing land-grabbing cases under the Goonda Act immediately.