Villagers in Semmiyanallur, Tamil Nadu, end their protest when the tahsildar vows to take action

In Semmiyanallur, over forty protestors embarking on a hunger strike put off their action after receiving assurances from revenue authorities that the land problem would be resolved.

Police said that when the Tamil Nadu Waqf Board sent notifications to the Sub Registrar in Avinashi asserting ownership of various residential plots in the hamlet, inhabitants of Semmiyanallur in Avinashi began a hunger strike. According to the locals, the [Tamil Nadu] Minor Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1963 transformed the lands into ryotwari land, and they were left unutilized for many years. The properties were developed into residential plots in 1995, and a number of individuals purchased them. The remaining plots are still undeveloped, with around 50 families having constructed homes.

The Tamil Nadu Waqf Board sent the Avinashi Sub Registrar notice to cease registration in August 2022. The locals said that since the area was turned into Ryotwari, the TN Wakf Board was unable to address the ownership problem. However, Avinashi’s Sub Registrar persisted in avoiding it. They went on a hunger strike with the intention of attracting revenue authorities’ notice. A group of representatives headed by Avinashi Tashildar arrived on the scene and pledged to hold a peace conference on April 24 in addition to resolving the matter after the elections.

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