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Asked to vacate houses within 3 days, 480 landless dalit-tribal families in Rewa rattled

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Senior Correspondent

Bhopal: Asked to vacate houses that they have been residing in for few years now, 480 dalit and tribal families in five villages of Java block in Rewa district have been left rattled by district administration.

They were served eviction notices (dated May 23) on May 31, asking them to vacate houses by June 2. They have been told that their houses would be flattened on June 3.

The affected families reside in parts of Khairaha, Chhipia, Vidurha, Jirouha and Kota villages.

The arrival of JCB machines in nearby Dabhoura town on Wednesday made the villagers further apprehensive.

The Java sub-divisional magistrate Mala Tripathi feigned ignorance about the action when contacted her, saying that the notices might have been given at tehsil level.

She however said that the houses that had illegally come up at several places had to be removed and the landless people were to be rehabilitated at one place.

NGO Samaj Chetana Adhikar Manch that has taken up the issue of the families has said that the notices from the district administration came suddenly even as the process to get the rights over the land plots that the houses were made was on.

Ram Naresh of the NGO said that the families had already paid fine for illegal occupation and their application for land rights (patta) was pending with the tehsil office.

He said that the sudden notices right before onset of rainy season was a shock to the families who had even engaged in agriculture work around their houses.

The organization said that the chief minister, during his recent visit to nearby Dabhoura had reiterated that landless dalits and tribal people would be given land rights and not evicted from the places they were staying.

He alleged that the attempt to evict the families was perhaps a bid to handover the land to a private glass factory, though this could not be confirmed.

Efforts to contact district collector Rahul Jain over phone and text remained unsuccessful.