Munnar evictions: Removal of cross angers CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Mr Vijayan said that the government had made it clear that the title deeds should be issued to the deserving before April 30.

Kottayam: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday came down heavily on the Idukki district administration for the demolition of a cross which revenue officials claim was erected illegally at Papathichola Medu near Chinnacanal in Idukki district. “A lot of people worship the cross and handle it with care,” the chief minister said, inaugurating the 13th state meet of the Kerala Headload and General Workers Federation at the Thirunakkara in Kotayam on Thursday. “Officials should discuss it with the government before touching it. I have asked the collector who they asked the permission from before demolishing the cross.”

There is an attempt to create a feeling that the (LDF) government is against the cross, the chief minister said, adding that the government had intimated its displeasure over the demolition of the cross to the district administration. Mr Vijayan said a there is an intense campaign doing the rounds that there are large scale encroachments in Munnar. “The district administration declared Sec. 144 (prohibitory orders) in the place but I have asked the Collector to withdraw it. We will not allow wrong action (in the name of eviction). If there were lapses in installing the cross at the place, it should have been corrected after discussing with the Christian church. If the issue has been discussed with them, they themselves would have removed the cross.”

While Mr Vijayan said that the actions happened at Munnar in the name of evicting the encroachments are the deeds of those who fail to understand people. “The state government has a clear stand on the issue of the encroachments at Munnar,” he said. “The government will take actions without compromises against the encroachments. However, we will give full protection to the migrants who are residing at the place for many years. The government will do nothing that is against their interests. This has been made clear in the meeting in which the minister, peoples’ representatives and the officials participated.” Mr Vijayan said that the government had made it clear that the title deeds should be issued to the deserving before April 30. “We cannot perceive people as encroachers just because there is an error in the survey number given by the government in its title deeds. It rests with the government to correct those errors,” the chief minister said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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