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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Massive demolition drive at Suraram village

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, NOV. 27. In a major drive against land encroachments on the city outskirts, authorities pulled down over 4,000 temporary structures and at least five `pucca' buildings, including two schools, near Suraram village on Saturday. Eighteen persons who resisted the demolitions were arrested after a mild lathicharge and later released by the police.

`Land purchased'

The officials led by the Mandal Revenue Officer, Venkateshwar Rao, went to the 60-acre area around 6.30 a.m and ordered the residents to vacate the premises. A strong posse of policemen accompanied the revenue officials. A group of CPI(M) activists who tried prevent the officials from demolishing the huts were dispersed and some local persons were arrested.

Even as the demolition was on, some people who had constructed `pucca' structures argued that they had purchased the land from different people. A few of them even showed the registration papers, but the officials maintained that the land belonged to the Government. The demolished structures included two schools where more than 100 children were studying.

While some `pucca' structures were built seven to eight months ago, other houses were several years old. "The CPI(M) workers encouraged people to erect huts. This happened a week ago and now people are homeless," Shivkumar, a local resident said.

The CPI(M) workers organised a demonstration in front of the Jeedimetla police station demanding release of those arrested. The arrested were later released after sureties were furnished. The demonstrators also demanded that the victims be allotted `pattas' and house sites at some other place.

Sitting on the debris of what was earlier her house, Lalithamma, an elderly woman, expressed shock over the sudden action by the authorities. "I purchased this piece of land for Rs.40,000. Now where will I go, I have no one here. It seems the Government is only meant to harass the poor," she said with tears in her eyes.

One of the locals said that several years ago, the land was given to `Harijans' and they sold it to different people. "If this is a Government land, then why were the authorities silent for so many years?" fumed Krishna, another local person. The revenue authorities however, denied the contention that the lands were sold by some people.

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