Dharwad: Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS) chief SR Hiremath has urged the government and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) to take stern action against forest officials in Chikkamagalur for not filing Forest Offence Cases (FOC) against business tycoon V.G. Siddharth, who is also the son-in-law of former CM SM Krishna. Two others are also involved in the land grab case pertaining to 130 acres of forest land in Koppa and Chikkamagalur forest divisions.
Expressing serious concern over increased land encroachments nowadays, Hiremath, while speaking to reporters here on Wednesday demanded the government to display ‘political and administrative’ will and evict the powerful and notorious land grabbers like V.G.Siddharth and others from various sections of society. There has been tremendous increase in both forest and revenue land encroachments in the state, at present the gross total of land encroachment stands at more than 15 lakh acres, he said.
After analyzing the situation at ground level and careful scrutiny of documents by SPS study team, it was found that CCF Chikkamagalur in his recent letter to APCCF dated July 5, 2016 confirmed the fact that the then ACF had made a spot visit to the lands encroached by the same VG Siddharth (SNo. 38 and 52). After a survey it was confirmed that VG Siddharth had encroached 64.39 acres of forest lands, Hiremath said.
He questioned why the then and present forest officials are not initiating process to take action against the land grabbers.
“We will meet PCCF soon and give him another opportunity to act in this case, or else we will move the High Court,” Hiremath warned.
He welcomed government’s decision to protect small farmers who have encroached upto 3 acres of forest lands and demanded action against big and powerful land grabbers.
Activists IG Pulli, MC Haveri and others were present.