NHRC notice: AP, Centre land in soup
16 Feb, 2007, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
HYDERABAD: The contentious issue of land acquisition has reached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) with the organisation on Thursday issuing notices to the Union and state governments.
This followed a complaint of gross violation of human rights in the implementation of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, by environmentalist Pentapali Pullarao of West Godavari district.
The commission asked the secretaries of rural development and commerce in the Union government and the chief secretary of the state government to file their reports within six weeks on the ongoing land acquisitions in the state.
The petitioner alleged that without adequate cause, compensation and public hearing, lakhs of acres of land was being acquired from the poor farmers by the state and the Centre.
"India is a signatory to the declaration of human rights and we have a machinery to protect human rights. Yet we find that ten million people are now exposed to dictatorial tendencies where land is taken away without any benefit for the person giving it away," the petitioner argued. The 1894 LA Act, the petitioner said, was being used by central and state governments "to override, overawe, bully, threaten and dehumanise millions".
The petitioner cited the threat of massive displacement of about three lakh tribals from the Polavaram dam area which was under construction in AP, as an example.
He urged the panel to intervene and try to rectify the lacuna. The petitioner also urged the NHRC to see that the implementation of the 1894 Act did not lead to violation of human rights.