Like Ajith's Citizen movie, a village is missing!

The people in the forest village of Salem district have left with uncertainty after their village had suspiciously disappeared from the government records and their homes were demolished by the forest department by claiming that the people had infiltrated the land, as what it appears to be more similar to the movie 'Citizen' that was acted by Ajith, which covers the story of the lost village and the pains of the people.

On January 27th, 2020, the state revenue department officials had abruptly stormed the Sooriyur Pallakkadu village in Salem and they had reportedly annihilated and demolished the huts and homes of the farmers and ruined their farms that were cropped with Oleander, Turmeric, and Onions. The authorities had justified their eviction drive as the people living in the village had occupied the forests and the lands that belong to the forest department. Their claims were denied by the village people who stated that the lands belong to the revenue department, not to the forest department.

A JCB Machine demolishing the house in the village


When we questioned about the developments to Periasamy, the forest officer of Salem, he asserted that the lands belong to the forest department, with no doubt. He stated that the lands were mapped under the forest department in 1889 during the British rule and added that the people who are currently protesting at the village had occupied the lands and settled in 1987. However, people in the village have the assertions that largely stood away from the claims made by the authorities.

                 (L-R) Murugesan and Periasamy


Murugesan, who has been fighting for the rights of the village people, told us that they approached the district collectorate to appeal the administration to install proper electricity to the village under the scheme that was introduced by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.G.Ramachandran in 1984, during when the district revenue authorities revealed that there is no village under the name of Sooriyur Pallakkadu in Salem district and denied that they can't provide the electricity to the village that doesn't exist. Murugesan expressed that it was shocking to know that the government registry doesn't have the name of the village that houses the people for many generations and stated that the revenue authorities had lost their village similar to the village of Atthipatti, that was featured in the movie Citizen.

Murugesan further pointed out that Sooriyur village was registered as 126th village of Salem district under the records of the Revenue department in 1905. In 1972, Salem Taluk was mapped separately and the documents have the name of the village during the separation. He claimed that the records had confirmed the existence of the Sooriyur village but the revenue authorities had ruined and lost the village by unleashing the treason and added that they have been fighting for their village and their rights for the past 28 years.

Salem district magistrate inspects the village along with the police officials


He cited that the revenue authorities have been involving with the illegal groups which log and ax out the trees and the authorities have been evacuating the people from the village since they have been disruptive against the tree logging. By stating that they won't sacrifice the village, he urged the government to grant the rights to the village people to have their settlements in the village. Our sources have revealed that Salem district magistrate Senthil Kumar visited the village after the issue came to the spotlight and he asserted the people with legal solutions for their issues.