Early solution sought to panchagramalu row

Civil activists decry ‘police high-handedness’, say HC order on status quo has been ignored

The promise made by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, during his padayatra, of finding a solution to the long-pending problem of the Simhachalam panchagramalu (land issue), remains unresolved with no progress on the issue till date, except for the issue of a Government Order appointing a committee in 2019.

A committee was formed soon after the YSR Congress Party assumed power in 2019. A year later, three more persons were included in the committee but no solution has been found to the problem. On the contrary, the government has further complicated the issue by including those who were in no way connected to the issue in the committee, Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA) general secretary A. Aja Sarma and Samaikhya Praja Rythu Sankshema Sangham president P.V.V. Sastry told reporters here on Thursday.

It was ironical that none of the one lakh people, who were directly involved with the issue, have been contacted by the committee. This has resulted in the issue not making any progress in nearly two years. The previous government had completed its five-year-term by giving assurances on a solution to the issue from time to time. This was giving rise to apprehensions that the present government would also follow the same pathm, they said, adding that the panchagramalu land issue was created by the previous government, which unilaterally gave ryotwari pattas to the Simhachalam Devasthanam during 1996 and 1997.

The RDO court in Visakhapatnam, as also the three-member committee of officials appointed by the government on the directions of the High Court in 2014, had declared the pattas given by the government as invalid. But the previous government had failed to take note of these directions. Further, the government had banned any financial transactions or constructions on these lands and buildings, ignoring the High Court order on maintaining status quo.

‘Cancel ryotwari pattas’

They said that the house and land owners were unable to raise funds to meet their emergency needs. They were not even allowed to undertake repairs of their old buildings. To add insult to injury, the police had arrested ‘sangham’ leaders, who were senior citizens, before the arrival of the Chief Minister in the city on Wednesday morning. They alleged that the police had behaved in a high-handed manner with the ‘sangham’ leaders.

They demanded cancellation of the ryotwari pattas issued to the Simhachalam Devasthanam during 1996 and 1997 and granting of permission to the land and building owners to take up construction and repair of the buildings in accordance with the status quo orders issued by the High Court.

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