Chengara agitators, trade unions on collision course

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Pathanamthitta, Kerala, Aug 27 (UNI) The Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyuktha Samithy (SJVSS) spearheading the Chengara Land Struggle and job-deprived trade unions are on a dangerous collision course.

An emergency meeting of various trade unions held here today decided to mobilise all plantation workers in the district on September 3 and 'wrest the encroached land at Chengara Estate from the activists of SJVSS using force,' if needed.

As a prelude to this, a protest meeting will be held here on September 1. The trade unions have also decided to collectively confront the demostration planned by the solidarity council members on August 30.

The meeting alleged that the Samithy activists, 'who were illegally occupying the Chengara Estate for the last 13 months' had felled 42,700 rubber trees and amassed more than Rs one crore by stealing rubber products.

Among the demands raised by the meeting include eviction of encroachers from the Chengara Estate owned by Harrisons Malayalam Plantation Limited, legal action against solidarity council, probe into the source of money flowing into the pockets of Samithy leaders and steps to curb unlawful activities rampant in the encroached land.

Meanwhile, SJVSS President Laha Gopalan reportedly threatened self-immolation if any attempt was made to forcibly evict the occupiers.

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