KARNATAKA: BANGALURU RALLY ON AUGUST 20 TO LAUNCH LAND STRUGGLE
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05 September 2016
OVER ten thousand people from different parts of the state participated in the agitation on August 20 in Bengaluru demanding cultivable lands for landless and homes for homeless. The agitation was organised by Bhoomi Mattu Vasati Hakku Vanchitara Horata Samithi, a State-level conglomerate of different organisations and individuals for a common goal. Addressing a press meet at Raichur on 12th August itself, K. Nagalingaswamy, district president of Karnataka Raitha Sangha, had announced that thousands of people from different parts of the State would participate in the agitation on the birth centenary of former Chief Minister of Karnataka late D. Devaraj Urs, who introduced land reforms in the State. “The land reforms introduced by Devaraj Urs remained incomplete as the governments after him showed little interest to provide cultivable lands to landless farmers. It is meaningless to celebrate Devaraj Urs birth centenary when his dream of providing a piece of land to poor and landless farmers remained unfulfilled. Huge tracts of government land both in urban and rural areas are encroached. The government must clear these encroachments and distribute the lands among the poor,” Mr. Nagalingaswamy said.

He asked the government to make a clear distinction between large-scale encroachments of government lands by powerful politicians, mighty landlords and influential religious institutions and the bagair hukum lands that had been cultivated by poor and landless farmers for a living. “No governments after Devaraj Urs took the land and housing issue seriously. Instead of clearing the large scale encroachments, these governments have been harassing and attempting to evict bagair hukum farmers. Lakhs of applications seeking regularisation of bagair hukum lands by their genuine tillers are piling up and gathering dust in government offices,” he said. The Bengaluru agitation raised 15 major demands including five acres of cultivable lands to every landless farmer, a home or residential plot to every homeless family and regularisation of bagair hukum lands to their genuine cultivators, he added.

Following state level campaign by KRS (AIKKS), TUCI, Karnataka Janasakthi, DSS and more than 25 organizations who had formed the struggling committee for land and housing for all landless and huseless people of Karnataka turned in to a massive mobilization which marched more than 3 kms to the state secretariat.

The revenue minister came to the maidan where the march had reached and discussed with the leaders assuring immediate steps to start distribution of land and housing on priority basis. The leaders warned the state administration that unless these steps are not immediately taken the Horatta Samithi shall launch direct action. This militant rally raising their demands has inspired the landless people for preparing themselves for direct action for land and housing. 
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