The heartbreaking video of two elderly Telangana farmers grovelling at the feet of a Tehsildar, or Mandal Revenue Officer, pleading for their livelihood has gone viral on the internet.
The two farmers, identified as Jangili Sattaiah and his brother Lingaiah, said that their ancestral land had simply disappeared from the official records of Chevella town. It had been registered and updated in the digital records of the Revenue Department with someone else’s name – without their knowledge, reported The News Minute.
Pleading that they couldn’t survive without their land and that officials had done little despite several complaints over a six-month period, the farmers, shows the video, begged the Tehsildar for justice even as he walked away.
A second video showing the two farmers – along with a third who had been standing some distance away in the first video – alleged that their Pattadar passbook, which is proof of their land entitlement, was taken away after a physical verification, reported NDTV.
The video elicited widespread anger among social media users, with several people asking for strict action against involved officials. KT Rama Rao, the working president of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, retweeted the account of the incident, requesting that the Ranga Reddy District Collector investigate the matter immediately.
Meanwhile, Tehsildar S Purushottam told The News Minute that he had been speaking to the farmers in question over a few weeks and that the matter would be soon resolved. “Soon after they complained about alleged encroachment and that their land was missing from the records, I and the local Revenue Inspector conducted an inquiry and submitted a report to the Revenue Divisional Officer, who foresees issues pertaining to entitlement lands,” he told the news organisation.
“Multiple cases have emerged in the last few months in which the process of computerisation and posting of land records online, aimed at transparency, have become a way of harassing farmers,” tweeted the Telangana Pradesh Congress Sevadal.