Skip to main content

Forest Rights Act "violated" in Gujarat: Adivasi landowners being asked to vacate land, hand of sand mafia seen

By Our Representative
Following notices served to take back land allocated to the Narmada dam oustees in September 2014 in Vadodara district (click HERE to read), now fresh cases have come to light in Chhotaudepur distict of South Gujarat, where the tribals who were allocated land under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, are being asked to vacate their land. Bringing this to light, senior social activist Romel Sutariya has accused the forest department of seeking to “snatch away the land allocated to them.” He added, the tribals are being vacated despite the fact that they are the real owners of the land as per the revenue record.
In a letter he has shot to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Sutariya, who is running a voluntary organisation for the tribal land owners in Chhotaudepur, gave at least two instances of this type. Thus, "on December 23, 2014, Ramsingbhai, a tribal landowner who owns an agricultural plot, Survey No 85, of Ambala village of Chhotaudepur district, is being asked by the forest department to vacate the land. A complaint has been filed with the police, but there is so far no action has been taken”, Sutariya said.
Giving another instance, Sutariya's letter said, “A tribal owning another plot of land, Survey No 164, has been forcibly evicted. Already, the forest department has begun with tree plantation on the plot. Worse, when the tribals protested, a few of them were detained illegally by the police. While a complaint has been lodged before the district collector, he too is refusing to act.” The letter asks commission chairman Rameshwar Oraon to ask Gujarat government authorities to act.
Heading the Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha, giving the background of what is happening in the region, Sutariya in a separate letter to PC Thakur, director-general of police, Gujarat, has said that tribals are being harassed alongside efforts by sand miners seeking to register a foothold in the region. “The tribals are cultivating land they have been allocated next to the river. However, the sand mafia has been continuing with indiscriminate, harming the agricultural land. Water levels are going down. At several places, illegal sand mining has washed away precious soil next to the river”, he said.
Alleging that several ruling politicians are behind illegal sand mining in the region, Sutariya said, “This is one major reason why the forest and police departments are not acting in the interest of the tribal farmers.” He added, “As our organisation is fighting against illegal mining, things have gone to such an extent that our organisation, and particularly me, are being targeted as Naxalite.” Suggesting that this is a ridiculous accusation coming at a time when the organisation is working within the legal framework, he added, “This was the main reason why on December 19 a police party was posted outside our Chhotaudepur office.”
He said, things reached such a point that, at one point, he was taken to the police station for questioning, and he was detained till the afternoon. "The main reason for this was, we were fighting for the tribals' right and against the sand mafia operating in the region. There have been cases when in several villages, such as Hirpari, Pavi Jetpur and others, where our workers live, the police is found to be questioning them. This is a clear violation of human rights.”

Comments

Sagar Rabari said…
By giving voice through counterview, you are doing great help to various causes Rajivbhai, please keep it up.

The voiceless needs to be heard more loudly.......

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.