Idukki: Taking advantage of religious sentiments, encroachers have adopted an alternative for land grabs. Of late, over 15 acres of grasslands have been occupied by encroachers at Pullikkanam near Vagamon here. According to media reports, they have put up many holy crosses in the eco-sensitive areas to facilitate their land encroachment.
In this regard, the Village Officer has given a report to the Tahasildar, who confirmed the encroachments. The report also suggests for recapturing the government land.
The encroachments were found near the areas of St. Thomas Church, Pallikkanam. Denying their involvement in the incident, the church authorities informed that they had no clue about the people who put up holy crosses there.
It may be recalled that in the same manner holy cross and shelters were set up at Pappathichola, Devikulam by a Thrissur-based organization, Spirit in Jesus, allegedly for encroaching the land there recently. But Revenue officials led by Devikulam Sub Collector demolished the holy cross at Pappathichola and recovered the government land.
Meanwhile, a Malayalam news channel has released the documents that throw light into the negligence of successive governments to the report of the Principal Secretary, Niveditha. P. Haran, in 2010 that suggests for the removal of encroachments in Munnar.
She had submitted the report during the reign of the previous LDF government. But neither the LDF nor the UDF governments considered the report that had actual information regarding land grabs.