Mangaluru: The Jeppu residents who are demanding rightful ownership of their lands, here on February 12 submitted a memorandum to Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo during a meeting organised at the Jeppu club.
Lobo, addressing the residents of the compound led by Eric Ozario, said, "I understand the pain and suffering of the residents living here. I have taken this case seriously but since this is a matter between two private parties, I will try to mediate and get an amicable solution. I urge all the residents to be patient and when we have positive attitude, we can face any problem. God gives us problems and also solution. I have come here as a people's representative as promised, to listen to your grievances. This is not keeping in mind the upcoming elections. I will speak to the authorities concerned in this regard."
Jeppu residents put forward their five demands in the memorandum submitted to the MLA. "Firstly, we demand the withdrawal of 'Quit notice' issued to victimise Valerian Texeira and Victor Pais for their RTI activism and for being the whistle-blowers. Secondly, the Bishop must stop exercising landlordship and co-operate in procuring legal documents to assert the rightful ownership. Thirdly, the outsiders who were duped after submitting forged documents to entitle them to the legal ownership of the lands during sale must be treated on par with the natives and given absolute legal ownership. Our fourth demand is to make the residents of the Jeppu Compound to be compulsorily made stakeholders while leasing/renting out, selling any property. The final demand is to compensate us for all the damage, sufferings and exploitation we had to undergo and the indignity we had to endure."
The residents of Jeppu Compound had earlier come up with an open letter on February 6 as an ultimatum to the Bishop and Diocese of Mangaluru, in which they had cited certain atrocities committed.
However, Bishop of Mangalore Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza denied all allegations levelled against him by the Jeppu Residents fighting for land rights as totally false.
Upalokayukta Subhash B Adi too recently, during a public hearing and redressal programme jointly organised by the Karnataka Lokayukta, Mangaluru heard the complaint filed by Jeppu residents fighting for the land rights from Bishop and had directed the Tahsildar and Assistant Commissioner of Mangaluru sub-division to submit a preliminary report in this regard within 20 days.
It may be recalled that on 18 December 2017, newskarnataka.com had reported the issue of the Jeppu Compound residents who threatened to go back to their mother religion if the rights of their lands were not transferred to them by the Bishop. Hundreds of years ago, Hindus, specifically the economically and religiously backward had embraced Christianity under the foreign Jesuits. They were given a 'home' at Jeppu Compound in lieu of their religious conversion. The sprawling 40 acre land was given to them only because of their conversion. A place was soon started to provide employment to the new converts and it came be known as the "Seminary Workshop" or "Asylum Workshop." However, in recent times, the Diocese of Mangaluru had issued an eviction notice to two settlers here, which has raged the converts.
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