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'Tribal youth beaten up by Forest officials'

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DEC. 14. The State Committee of the Kerala Dalit Federation has urged the Government to take action against the Forest officials who beat up tribal youth who had come from Attappady to Idukki district in search of jobs.

As many as 12 youth had been admitted to the Adimali Government Hospital with injuries, according to the State president of the federation, Mr. P. Ramabhadran. The Forest officials had fired at them and beaten them up while they were resting on a rock. They had come to Adimali as part of a larger group in search of work connected with the cutting of bamboos and departmental works, he said.

The committee, which met here, said that cases should be registered against the Forest officials under the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The youth should be given specialist treatment.

The Committee also urged the Government to stop eviction of tribals who had settled down at Panavalli in Wayanad district and the move to rehabilitate them in a rocky terrain. The leasing of land belonging to the Plantation Corporation of Kerala to private parties should be ended.

Mr. Ramabhadran said that Dalits and tribals would stage dharnas before the Kannur Collectorate on December 16 and the head office of the Corporation in Kottayam on December 26 as part of their agitation over their lands.

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