Skip to main content

Forcible of displacement of tribals in Madhya Pradesh from tiger reserve: Activists protest move

Tribals let by Yousuf Beg submitting the letter in collector's office
By Ashok Shrimali
The Panna National Park, one of the top tiger reserves in India, is the eye of storm among tribal rights activists of Madhya Pradesh. Situated just 25 kilometres from the world famous Khajuraho temples, tribals living in the national park and the tiger reserve have been accused of “wrongfully made to give consent to accept monetary compensation and hand over their lands” in the conservation of the forest area.
This has come to light in a letter Yousuf Beg, a trustee of the local Prithvi Trust, has written to Shiv Narayan Singh Chouhan, district collector, Panna, copies of which have been forwarded to senior forest and environment department officials of Madhya Pradesh.
Particularly citing the instance of the tribal community of Umravan village, the letter says, the tribal families “are being coerced by your office and the forest department” into giving consent “for the purpose of Panna National Park and Tiger Reserve.” Meanwhile, activists of the Enviornics Trust, Mines Mineral and People, Dhaatri - Resource Centre for Women and Children have decided to take up the issue.
Asking the Madhya Pradesh officialdom to immediately stop acquiring lands of the tribal villagers and payment of compensation, the letter says, “Village has a wholly scheduled tribe population whose basic constitutional rights and right to life are being violated through continuous harassment and prevention of accessing forest and their own lands for their livelihood by the forest department and by your office.”
Asking the district collector to first take the consent of the Gram Sabha of Umravan village for accepting compensation, the activist says, the villagers should not have been given “improper and partial information and promises”. He adds, “No written commitment has been provided to the village on the relocation and reinstatement of their livelihoods.” 
Tribals outside the district collector's office
Especially strongly objecting to the manner in which the district collector held a public hearing/meeting in Umravan village on June 26, 2015, the letter says, this was done without “any intimation and with no presence of any other concerned public.”
Calling such a process “undemocratic and violation of the rights of illiterate tribal people whose concerns and objections are being brushed aside through intimidation and false promises”, the letter says, “Notices served by you in February 2015 is legally violative of the rights of tribal communities as you have stated that the land acquisition process in reference to the 1894 Land Acquisition Act instead of the Act 2013.”

“There is no social impact assessment or other procedures under the LARR Act that have been applied to the village to ensure protection of their rights and livelihoods”, the letter says.
It adds, “Free informed consent from Gram Sabha has not obtained and there is no proper information or written communication regarding land acquisition process, rehabilitation plan, compensation package, reinstatement of livelihoods, facilities and development amenities of the affected communities or any other information.”
“Villagers who are objecting to relocation have not been given proper chance of being heard or their grievances addressed – there has been an atmosphere of intimidation and threats created for the past two years by governance machinery and villagers have not been allowed or rather harassed on the issues of access to forests and forest resources”, the letter says.
Pointing out that the tribals are being “prevented physically from collecting forest produce, grazing, firewood and other medical herbs”, the letter says, they have “not been allowed to cultivate on their lands, have not been compensated for wildlife attacks on their cattle and other basic amenities are being denied to them in order to make their survival impossible.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”