Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scholars, politicians protest land acquisition from Tamil University

Leaders of various political parties, Tamil scholars, members of various Tamil associations came together on a platform on Monday against the acquisition of 62 acres of land from the Thanjavur Tamil University for constructing the district collectorate.

The Tamil University Protection Movement and Tamil Development Protection Movement observed a fast in Chennai and urged the State government to give up its plan to use the University land for other purposes.

However, a petition questioning the land acquisition was dismissed by the Madras High Court on Monday.

PMK leader S. Ramadoss who wound up the protest in the evening said the university had lost its land whenever the AIADMK came to power.

“First, it acquired land for the South Zone Cultural Centre. When World Tamil Conference was held in Thanjavur, once again land was acquired for construction of houses. Now the government want to construct a collectorate. This move will completely erase the name of the university and people will remember only the collector’s office,” he alleged.

When asked what was wrong in acquiring unused land for other purposes, P. Maniyarasan, leader of the Tamil Desiya Pothu Udamai Katchi, said just because Loyola and Pachaiyappa’s Colleges had vast tracts of land, the same could not be transferred for other purposes.

“Today, the University has been neglected a lot and they are not even in a position to pay salaries to the professors and other staff,” he alleged.

When asked about the High Court’s First Bench dismissing his petition challenging the land acquisition, Mr. Maniyarasan said he would file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam in their order said the transfer of land was for the public purpose of construction of district collectorate.

“The transaction will not in any way affect the poor and downtrodden people; rather it is for the use of the public at large. Hence no public interest is involved in the petition,” the Bench said.

CPI leader R. Nallakannu, former Madras University Vice-Chancellor Porko and many others participated in the protest.

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