Bantwal: Govt apathy forces freedom fighter to struggle for land

Bantwal: Govt apathy forces freedom fighter to struggle for land

Mounesh Vishwakarma
Daijiworld Media Network – Bantwal (EP)

Bantwal, Aug 15: The country celebrates 67 years of independence on Thursday August 15, but one of the freedom fighters who had fought against the British for it, is now being made to fight for his own independence. His voice has become a cry in the wild and nobody seems to listen to it.

M D Shamrao Achar, a freedom fighter in Bantwal is still fighting to take possession of the land allotted by the government to him.

Though he spent a major portion of his life in Shimoga, he belongs to Bantwal by origin. He had actively participated in the freedom movement and blasted artillery in 1944 near B C Road’s Brahmara Kootlu to threaten the British. He then stayed in his brother late Puttanachar’s house in Shimoga to escape arrest. He had participated in the freedom struggle in Shimoga and was imprisoned for two months.

The government has recognized him as the freedom fighter, allotted land and is paying monthly pension but taken away his happiness.

Shamrao is 85 years old now and is living a retired life in the house of his son in Shimoga. Though the government has allotted two hectares of land that is due to freedom fighters like him, he has not been able to occupy the land for the last 22 years due to a mistake committed by the forest department.

Though two hectares of land is allotted to him, the map shows that only 3.4 acres of land belongs to him. The forest department has converted two acres of it into forest land. This has created problems to Shamrao.

Though the matter was brought to the notice of the then commissioner of Dakshina Kannada during 1991-92 when the saplings were being planted and now the plants have grown into trees, his problem is not solved. Shamrao, who is struggling to obtain a solution for the last twenty years, hopes for it now that the MLA of Bantwal constituency, Ramanath Rai has become the minister of forests.

Shamrao who is fighting for his land rights for the last 22 years, is confident of success in his struggle some day. Though many have suggested him to go to the court, he has refused saying that he has never been into such struggle. He is optimistic that the government will impart justice sooner than later. When Shalini Goel was the commissioner in 1991-92, she had promised justice within 24 hours but that did not happen says Sahamrao in a sad voice.

The dream of the freedom fighter

Shamrao does not want to start business in the land. Instead, he wants to grow fruits and vegetables there and convert that into a garden where people can rest for a while. He had submitted his request to the horticulture department when the land was allotted to him. Several district commissioners, Tahsildars and forest officials have come and gone since. Governments have changed but the dream of Shamrao has not materialized.

Though the plants of forest department have grown, his dream voice has remained a far cry in the forest. Now that 67th independence day is in progress, the government should look into the demands of Shamrao.

Let him give the trees to us – District forest officer

When questioned about developing forest in Shamrao’s land, the forest department has come up with a strange answer. The forest department says that the land was allotted to Shamrao after planting the saplings. If Shamrao transfers the ownership of the trees to the forest department, there will be no problem, says the district forest officer Sridhar Nayak.

Shamrao’s son has questioned the reasoning of the forest department in this regard. He claims that they have looked after the trees in between the tussle. Besides at the time planting the saplings, the commissioner had asked the forest department to vacate the land with the saplings. Is it justifiable on the part of the forest department to ask for trees instead of transferring the rightful ownership of land to Shamrao, asks the son of Shamrao, Satish Kumar.


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • Arjun, India

    Fri, Aug 16 2013

    Why does he need more land!! There were numerous freedom fighters..these free allocation of land to freedom fighters is a crime against the poor and deprived who still don't have roof over their head and food, clothing..

    DisAgree [3] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jayarama Acharya, kaup

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    As Mr. Ravishanar Shenva's opionion is 100% correct.Mr.Shamrao Sir should meet Mr.Sorake, he will help. To help this Freedom Figher oneside responsibilites lies with the Concerned Deputy Commissione, as he is a Freedom Fighter.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • siddarth, mangalore

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    its really sad. not sure how many of us know about karnad sadashiva rao who lost every bit for his people for his country. We only remember the national heroes but what about our own ..... ???

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ravi Bhaskar Shenava, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    Shamrao Sir, it is of no use to approach Ramanath Rai, because he never helps.
    It is better to approach sincere ministers like Vinay Kumar Sorake or U T Khader.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Achhu, Mlore

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    I respect this man but what is the proof to say he is the freedom fighter???

    DisAgree [19] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ravi Bhaskar Shenava, Mangalore

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    Govt grants Freedom Fighter's Pension & Land only after thorough investigation by D.C. as well as Police dept, by digging all the records of British Period and Satisfying that his name exists in British period Police & Jail records about his arrest for participating in Independence struggle.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • stan, dubai

    Thu, Aug 15 2013

    If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost.
    Barack Obama

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: Bantwal: Govt apathy forces freedom fighter to struggle for land

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.