Villagers of Sakleshpur taluk allege harassment by Forest Dept. officials

Villagers of Sakleshpur taluk allege harassment by Forest Dept. officials

Alleging harassment by the Forest Department in the name of clearing encroachments, residents of Hanbal hobli in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan district have demanded the State government conduct a joint survey by the Forest and Revenue Departments and end the disputes over land ownership.

In a press conference in Hassan on Friday, B.K. Sundaresh, president of the struggle committee comprising residents of the villages around Murkannu Gudda forest, said that the Forest Department had been issuing notices to residents alleging that they had encroached upon forest land, notified as per Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act.

The residents of Achhanahalli, Nadahalli, Kadumane Gudda, Jambaradi, and neighbouring villages have been facing this problem. “We have been cultivating the land for several decades. Even those who have records of land grants have been getting notices”, he said.

Further, he said that villages had been denied basic amenities because of objections from the Forest Department. The villagers had submitted pleas to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, DCM D.K. Shivakumar and other ministers in the cabinet in this regard. He urged the State Government to conduct a joint survey so that the issue of landholding is resolved.


The Forest Department has been making efforts to clear the encroachment of Moorkannu Gudda forest in Sakleshpur taluk. According to the department, of the 7,938 acres of shola forest, part of the Western Ghats, a vast area had been encroached. The Revenue Department had granted hundreds of acres of forest land for cultivation. Recently, the department issued notices to those who built resorts encroaching upon the forest land.

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