12 houses destroyed by Kandhamal administration

December 17, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

12 houses destroyed by Kandhamal administrationOrissa, December 16, 2012: The B D O, Tahasildar and Police Inspector of Raikia appears to have decided to make poor people homeless during this chilling winter. On 12th Dec 2012, at about 11.00 hrs, the above mentioned three officials along with R I, and armed police personnel, with heavy earth movers, moved on road beside the police station (Raikia) towards the office of the Tahasildar. It is a village road; it is not an important road. After a distance of about 300 metres from the main road and police station; the earth movers began to break down houses on the right side of the road. None of these houses were too close to road. Some of the houses were as far as fifty feet away from road.Three kacha houses were totally destroyed; one brick house (indira awas) of a widow too was badly damaged. Another 8 houses were partially destroyed. A total of 12 houses thus dmaged. None had courage to oppose. One person (Niranjan Samal, an Inspector of school) raised his voice; he was taken into custody by police and his extended house was fully destroyed. He was released from police custody in the evening.

According to Sandip Nayak S/o sabalan Nayak, Notices dated 6th Dec 2012 were served on them on 9th Dec, asking them to vacate the govt land they occupied. His mother and other elders say that they have been living there prior to the survey, and that during survey “patta” for their occupied lands were not made. They had been paying rent (land tax) since many years. Sunita Dalabehera, was living (with her four children) in a hut near to that of Sandip. Sunita was given “Indira Awas” during 2008. She built her indira awas with bricks and tin under supervison of the concerned authorities. Nobody told her not to build her indira awas there. Payment for her indira awas was given in instlaments. Heer house which stood about 40 feet from road too was dmaged.

Sandip says that actual reason for demolition of houses on the so-called govt land is not because govt wanted that land for any purpose like broadening road. Actual reason is to please Mr Piklu Sabat S/o Bijay Sabat, an ultra rich man of raikia. Piklu bought land behind the dwelling homes of the poor. Piklu wanted the land between his land and road to be evacuated. He bribed and persuaded the Tahasildar and other authorities to demolish houses between his land and road. Mr sabat had tried to persuade the poor people to leave their ‘occupied’ land and go away from there and he had promised to get for them land and indira awas. But the people refused to go because they did not want to leave their dwelling neat to the town. It is an applling fact that many shops that are too close to roads or on the roads are not demolished. It is also to be noted that many buildings owned by non-tribals on tribal’s land at Raikia too have not been touched.

Meanwhile Mr Dharmaraj Digal of village Manikeshwar (about 7 kilometres south of Raikia) too is issued notice to vacate the government land where his house is built. As per the notice received by him any day at any time law enforcing authorities can demolish his dwelling house. Dharmaraj’s father had purchased the land but did not get ‘patta’ made for the land. Interestingly, other persons who have recently entered the district and occupied govt land have not been given any notice to vacate.

If at all, due to any reason, poor man’s dwelling is to be demolised should he not be given alternate accommodation prior to demolision, that too in this chilling winter ? where are they to find accommodation at 2 or 3 day notice ?

At the mercy of the tahasildar 3 families were given plastic sheet for making tents! he was further kind to give one family 2, another 6 and another 7 blankets!! Can any one expect the family of the tahasildar to survive the biting-cold-winter with plastic sheet and thin blankets ? Indifferance of the civil society is more hurting than the brutal behaviour of the officials and the chilling cold of winter.

– bro k j markose

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