For the last three months poor peasants, landless agricultural workers, homeless urban poor people are waging a struggle in Andhra Pradesh demanding the state government to implement the 9/77 act which guarantees land assignment to the poor. Instead of taking steps to implement this act government brought an amendment which nullifies the spirit of the Land Assignment Act, 1977 and paves way to legalise all illegal occupations by the land mafia and influential classes in the state. This act only meant for legalising the illegal occupations of assigned land, snatching away the assigned land from the hands of poor and to reallocate the same to the influential sections of the society.
|At the same time lakhs of people are waiting in queue for almost one decade to get their|
| piece of land to construct their homes. Government’s only refrain is that there is no such vacant land which could be given to common masses for such purpose. At the same time the committee appointed by state government under the chairmanship of Koneru Rangarao, Cabinet Minister, found huge tracts of land ( more than
|60 lakh acres) available with the government right now with which government can allot at least one acre to each landless family in the state as on date.|
Fearing worst consequences, the government has refused to make Koneru Rangarao Committee Report public. It is not even ready to table the report on the floor of state assembley. In this back ground a ground swelling movement is going on demanding the state government to implement the recommendations of Koneru Rangarao Committee. 195 grassroot organisations including NGOs cutting across political and ideological affiliations have joined hands in support of this demand. Of late major political parties in the state have also extended their solidarity. The ongoing struggle reached its peak with the Hunger fast movement where the leaders of CPI(M) and CPI sitting on fast. Thousands of hunger fast tents have already been erected in the state where lakhs of common people are sitting on hunger strike in support of demands.
Instead of agreeing to the genuine demands of the vast sections of people, state government has sought to repress the movement. More than three thousand cases were registered against the leaders of the movement. Thousands were sent to jail with non bailable warrants. Severe lathi charge has become a daily phenomenon where thousands are bearing the brunt of police. There is a en-mass moral support to this movement including those of upper middle class who could not find land to build their homes. This movement started by the joint actions of the 195 organisation has, now, turned into a political movemnet with joining of political parties and has assumed the proportion of land struggles, the first in last two decades. In solidarity with the huger-fast comrades people are observing State Bandh tomorrow, 28th July.
— From S.Vinay kumar/INN