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Farmers to stage protest against land reforms changes

Hubli: Terming the recent amendments to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act as a deathblow to the farming community, Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha and Hasiru Sene have decided to stage a State-wide agitation on Independence Day.

Addressing a press conference, presidents of the district units of Belagavi and Dharwad Basavaraj Bijjur and Raviraj Kambali, respectively, and other office-bearers condemned the amendment in strong words. “By permitting people other than farmers to buy farmland, the farmers have been cheated,” they said.

Bijjur said that under the earlier Land Reforms Act the farming community had protection as people other than farmers were barred from purchasing farmland.

“The Act prohibited purchase of farmland by people other than farmers. It also had restrictions on those with higher income purchasing farmland and provision for punishment for people who purchased land on fake certificates and declarations. It also had barred transfer of farmland to those other than farmers. But all these have now become useless due to the recent amendments,” he said.

He said that the amendments were nothing but a ploy to allow multinational and corporate companies to purchase fertile land from small and marginal farmers by offering them more money and subsequently, pushing the farmers to the streets.

Kambali said that KRRS and Hasiru Sene would urge the government to immediately withdraw the amendments.

He said that on August 15, KRRS would observe Farmer Martyrs Day at Alagavadi village in Navalgund taluk of Dharwad district and after the flag-hoisting and Independence Day celebrations, they would stage a protest seeking fulfilment of their demands.

Their demands include farmers loan waiver in nationalised banks, withdrawal of amendments to APMC Act, pension for farmers aged over 60, hike in assistance under Kisan Samman Yojna to Rs. 15,000.

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