More than 30 families in Nagalamadike village in Tumkur district in Karnataka have been fighting since 2014 against land eviction by the Muzrai department, a government department which is responsible for the monitoring of temples and religious institutions in the state. The department operates under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment (Amended) Act, 2011.
In May 2014, the department sent a notice to the village residents that the 15-acre land on which they had built houses belonged to the government. However, the village residents claim that the land was allotted to them 20 years ago by the Nagalamadike Village Council to build houses and that they had been paying property tax for the last 20 years.
According to the website of the Karnataka Public Lands Corporation Limited, the families have encroached on government land as they do not have title deeds to the allotted land.
While officials of the Village Council claim they are against eviction, the villagers accuse them of siding with the government. One of the village residents, who did not wish to be named, told Land Conflict Watch, the Village Council has been making fake promises that it will protect us from eviction. In 2016, the Muzrai department tried to evict us, and no one came to our rescue. We have submitted several petitions to the tehsil officer, and we will keep fighting until we get a permanent solution.
Panchayat Development Officer B. Narasimmappa told Land Conflict Watch that he was doing everything in his power to stop the eviction by the government. The Muzrai department has now agreed to give titles to the people who claim ownership over the 15 acres of land. We are waiting for the paperwork to be done, he said. However, the Muzrai department has only given a verbal assurance of providing land titles. No formal announcement has been made in this regard.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Muzrai Department, Nagalamadike Village Council
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Has the Conflict Ended?
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