Chennai, December, 13 : The former communications and IT minister, Mr A. Raja, and his associates have allegedly grabbed dalit lands in his district even while the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, has been trying to drum up sympathy for the DMK leader saying that he was being victimised in the 2G spectrum allocation scam only because he was a dalit.
Dozens of dalits of Naranamangalam village, in Perambalur district, claim that they have been cheated by Mr Raja and his associates who grabbed their land with the help of the police and revenue officials.
Mr Chandrasekhar (45), a dalit from Naranamangalam, used to be a land-owner three years ago. Today, he works as a casual labourer near the Perambalur bus terminus, earning Rs 80 a day to support his five-member family.
“I barely managed to survive using the income I got from my ancestral property of 3.5 acres of land. When MRF approached me through Green House Promoters to sell my property for the factory in 2007, I refused. But, I was threatened to part with it for Rs 90,000 an acre by Mr Selvaraj, one of the directors of Green House Promoters, and his associate Mr Senthil Murugan,” he said.
While the illiterate villager was told that the land would be handed over to MRF, he found out about a year later that Mr Selvaraj retained the land and had rented it out to MRF for Rs 50,000 a month and got an advance of Rs 3,00,000. “When I approached Green House Promoters, they threatened to eliminate me,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.
And he is not the only dalit who has been cheated. At least 60 dalit families from the village have lost their property to Green House Promoters, which is one of the real estate companies allegedly owned by Mr Raja. “Even last week, we gave a petition to the district revenue authorities. But they threatened to drive us away,” says Mr Raja Chidambaram, district secretary of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, the organisation taking up the issue with the government.