On 14 November 1984 the government of Karnataka made an angreement with Harihar Polyfibres (of the Birla family), a rayon producing company. The new company Karnataka Pulpwoods Limited (KLP) was owne 51% by the governemnt and 49% by the Birla.
KPL eucalyptus plantation would occupy almost 30 000 ha in the northern part of Karnataka. The project overlooked the claims of the local villagers who depended on these lands to meet their basic needs. The move evoked widespread protest from the local villagers and several non-governmental organisations. The Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, a Dharward-based NGO, with the support of other organisations and eminent personalities such as Shivaram Karanth, Justice DM Chandrashekhar and Kadilal Manjappa led the "Save the Common Lands Movement" to reclaim their lands and rights. Initially, the campaigners sent petitions to local government officials and met the then chief minister, Ramakrishna Hegde with a plea to cancel the KPL agreement. But when these efforts did not yield the desired results, the affected people held a series of protest meetings and demonstrations in several places on November 14, 1986, which coincided with the anniversary of the setting up of the KPL.
In December 1986, a public interest litigation case was filed in the Supreme Court by Shivaram Karanth, Anil Agarwal and others. The Supreme Court issued a stay order on March 24, 1987 to maintain the status quo with regard to the possession of land. However, the kpl continued its operations. Meanwhile, the people of Kunsur (or Kushnoor) and the surrounding villages launched a satyagraha on November 14 1987, which is now popularly known as the Kunsur satyagraha with a novel form of protest, termed the Kitikho-Hachiko (Pluck an Plant) satyagraha. Led by drummers, waving banners and shouting slogans, the protesters uprooted eucalyprus saplings before planting in their place species useful for fruir or fodder.
Due to a sustained struggle for over seven years, 72 legislators from various political parties brought effective pressure on the government to close the KPL. On October 3, 1991 the government wound up the KPL.
There was a connection to the Chipko movement in the Himalaya of the 1970s: in 1990 on India independence day, 15 August, the respected Chipko leader Chandri Prasad Bhatt led a pluck-and-plant satyagraha in Hirekerrur taluka of Dharwad.