Wayanad: Forest department personnel, with the help of police, forcibly evicted landless families who encroached on the Vested Forest Land on Wednesday.
The land was taken over by the forest department as excess land from the Harrisons’ Malayalam Plantation in 2000, according to forest officials.
Hundreds of agitators, affiliated to All India Revolutionary Kissan Sabha, the farmers’ arm of CPI (ML) Red Star and the tribal arm, Adivasi Bharath Mahasabha, had encroached on the land on Sunday.
Though the forest department officials held several rounds of talks to persuade the evictees to vacate on their own, the encroachers refused to oblige. Evicted secretly on Wednesday morning, the forest officials took into custody the leaders of the agitation including CPIML (Red star) central committee member M.P. Kunhikkanaran. The police also blocked the media from the spot.
Inspector of Police, Ambalavayal, M.T. Jacob told DC that there was no need to apply any force. The encroachers themselves backed out from the land, he said, adding that the forest officials have taken into custody a few leaders of the agitation.
However, it is learned that the leaders taken into custody were under detention of forest as well as police who are being quizzed on their further plans. Most of the leaders are not natives, according to police.
Meanwhile, the agitators forcibly evicted from the land, are planning to stage an agitation in front of the Collectorate against the police-forest brutality.