Tension Flares as Officials Demolish Encroachments on Mutt Lands in Thummalagunta

Tirupati: A tense situation unfolded in Thummalagunta village of Tirupati district on Wednesday as revenue officials and police carried out a joint demolition drive to remove unauthorised encroachments on lands of the Sri Swamy Hathiramji (SSH) Mutt.

Armed with JCBs, the officials descended on the area early in the morning and demolished around 30 illegal structures on the Mutt's lands spanning 165 acres across survey numbers 7/6, 26/3, 28, 33, 66 to 95, 97, 98, 99, 100 and 101 of Thummalagunta village in Tirupati rural mandal.

Locals protested against the demolition drive, leading to a tense situation for a few hours. Telugu Desam leader Pulivarthi Nani’s wife Sudha Reddy arrived at the spot to support the villagers. She was detained along with Pulivarthi Nani, police said.

One woman, who tried to obstruct the demolition process, was injured in the police action and was shifted to a hospital.

The villagers claimed that the lands were purchased by them while they were working as labourers. They accused the authorities of being selective in their demolitions and that no action was taken against constructions done by relatives of some elected representatives.

However, the Mutt asserted its legal ownership of the lands and cited revenue records and a court order from 2013 that had previously evicted encroachers. The demolition drive was carried out without any major incident.

“The Mutt had issued legal notices to the encroachers and sought police protection to carry out the demolition after unauthorised constructions continued despite the earlier eviction attempts,” the Mutt functionaries stated.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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