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Tension as 240 families are evicted; protestors lathicharged

By Our Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA, JAN. 12. Following a Supreme Court order, officials evicted nearly 240 families encroaching upon three acres of private land in New Jojinagar here leading to tension on Monday. People and the CPI(M) activists who tried to protect houses in New Jojinagar, a colony in Bhavanipuram, from being bulldozed were lathicharged. The police beat up the protesters indiscriminately not sparing even women.

The CPI(M) city secretary, Ch Babu Rao, activists Aruna and Fatima suffered injuries in the melee. Tension prevailed in the colony when revenue, municipal corporation, fire and police department personnel arrived there in strength. Mr Ch.Babu Rao and his party workers who had come to address a meeting led the residents of the colony to squat in front of the bulldozer.

The police came and tried to drive away the agitators by beating them up. They later dragged Mr Babu Rao and arrested him. The residents of the colony said that people have been residing in this three-acre plot of revenue poramboke for the past two and half decades. The Supreme Court has issued a directive to the district administration to evict the residents and hand over the land to the owners.

The Government machinery was keen to execute the Supreme Court order to avoid attracting contempt of court. Mr Babu Rao alleged that a group of men who had the support of the TDP were claiming ownership over the land, which was Government poramboke.

This group, he alleged, made a living by buying land in dispute and then evicting those to whom the land originally belonged by using political clout. This same gang had eyed the colony and created false documents. The group had the support of a Minister from the district, he said.

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