56 Dalit families face eviction

DHARMAPURI: Fifty six Dalit families who have been living on 0.56 cents in Sengodipuram Colony for more than six decades face eviction.
The colony was established by the late Communist leader Jeevanantham in a plot of 4.78 acres and the Dalit families were settled there in 1948. . Cosmopolitan Club and members of other communities were given patta in this plot for 4.23 acres but not the Dalits. Dharmapuri Municipality Council at a meeting on July 27 passed a resolution to evict the Dalit families with the help of the district administration. However, Communist councillors opposed the resolution.
Harur MLA and Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary P. Dillibabu told The Hindu that the Municipal Council’s resolution was against the Government Order 854 which ensured patta to those who were living on government land for more than five years. Mr. Dillibabu also said the resolution was against the Constitution of India which guaranteed Dalits the right to live. He urged the government to stop the eviction move and take necessary steps to issue patta to the 56 families immediately. He accused the municipality of being indifferent to them and favouring caste Hindus, Cosmopolitan Club and Indian Medical Association.
Many of the caste Hindu families had been paying only 0.12 paise as tax from 1954, he alleged. Instead of raising income by restructuring its tax structure the municipality with ulterior motives was bent upon evicting the poor people, he said.
CPM has planned agitations in front of the municipality from September 8 to 15 to express solidarity with the Dalits. CPM state secretary N. Varadarajan, party leader in the state legislature K. Balabharathy, Perambur MLA S.K. Mahendran, Gudiyatham MLA G. Latha, and other state leaders will participate in the agitations. A decision to this effect was announced by Mr. Dillibabu after the party’s district committee meeting here last week.