Kakinada: The movement launched by Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) farmers to get back their lands has got a shot in the arm with the support of Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan. He said that he will ensure justice to the farmers at his Dowleswaram meeting in this week. Mr Kalyan’s support has brightened the hopes of the KSEZ farmers and the agitators thanked the Jana Sena chief.
According to sources, KSEZ movement has been a peaceful agitation since the past one decade and all parties, including the present ruling party Telugu Desam while it was in the Opposition, had supported the agitation. But, the farmers feel that after assuming power, Telugu Desam and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu betrayed them.
The movement has become an ideal model for other agitations and still the agitators are continuing this, though they are struggling to live, due to financial constraints. In 2005, during the regime of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, the KSEZ had entered into the fields of Thondangi and U. Kothapalli mandals, the Kakinada coast in East Godavari.
The farmers alleged that the then rulers had forcibly acquired the lands from the farmers. In the name of farmers, several organisations also joined hands with the rulers and KSEZ and cheated the farmers. In the process, the government had given notification for nearly 8,500 acres of land, out of which the KSEZ could purchase 4,850 acres of land directly from the farmers and later, the government had issued a notification for land acquisition and passed awards for nearly 3,500 acres, out of which nearly 1,000 farmers only got the compensation, without any scope for them. Remaining farmers did not take any compensation from either the KSEZ or the government.
Meanwhile, Kadali Network, a voluntary organisation led by K. Rajendra, toured in the KSEZ area and explained the adverse environment impact and the miserable livelihood conditions of the farmers, as well as the agricultural labourers, and also the people in the area. Then the people realised this and started the agitation and it gave a boost to the farmers who were reluctant to take the compensation.
Many environmentalists, Civil Rights Organisations, all parties, including the CPI, BJP, CPM, TD and others rendered their support to the farmers and opposed the land acquisition process. However, the farmers felt that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and the local TD leaders betrayed them drastically.
“Chandrababu Naidu made a promise to the farmers for giving back their lands, if the TD assumes power. During the Congress regime, though there were constraints on them, either Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy or N. Kirankumar Reddy did not prevent them from tilling their lands. But, at present, under the TD Government’s rule, there is no democratic governance running in KSEZ area. There is military governance in the area (Police Raj),” KSEZ Vyathireka Porata Samithi convener Chinta Suryanarayana Murthy said.
He thanked Pawan Kalyan for rendering his support to them. He said that the farmers’ argument in this issue is legal and valid. B. Narayana Swamy (Pedakapu) said that they never expected such betrayal from Chandrababu Naidu.
Special Economic Zone farmers seeking justice
The farmers of Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) have been seeking justice. They strongly believe that their argument is valid and legal and that the KSEZ developers have no right to prevent them from tilling their lands.
The KSEZ Vyathireka Porata Samithi convener Chinta Suryanarayana Murthy said that many of the lands, including his own, were issued notifications in 2005 and the awards passed in 2010. But according to Land Acquisition Act, the government should pay compensation to the farmer concerned within three years’ time. But now, five years have passed after the government passed the award and it is not legally valid.
He also said that the land acquisition has not been done for ‘people’s purpose’ and it was aimed for some industrialists’ benefit. He said that the banks also sanctioned loans for disputed lands without observing the actual condition and position of the lands.
He said that Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan should make efforts to give back their lands on the lines of Singuru in West Bengal. He said that the CPM is rendering its full support for the agitation....