Skip to main content

A decade after Forest Rights Act, 80% tribal land claims rejected in several states: Bhum Adhikar Andolan

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the Government of India’s alleged efforts to “undermine” Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2016, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA), the apex body of tens of people’s movements fighting for land rights, has said that recent move to amend some of FRA’s “strong provisions” has emboldened Indian states to stop implementing it altogether.
In a representation to Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, a BAA delegation complained that all that his ministry, in the meanwhile, is doing to “implement” the FRA “are routine workshops, seminars, video conferencing, missives and routine letters to the state and union territory governments, etc.”
A memorandum was handed over to the minister by a group of Left-wing politicians and several civil rights organizations led by CPM leader Hannan Mullah, following a well-attended rally of tribals and other forest dwellers in Delhi to mark a decade of FRA.
Those who were part of the delegation which met the minister included Ashok Chowdhury and Roma of the All-India Union of Forest Working People; Sunit Chopra of the Akhil Bhartiya Khet Mazdoor Union; Anil Chaudhary of Insaf; Prem Singh of the All India Kisan Maha Sabha; and Dr. Sunilam, Vimal Bhai and Madhuresh Kumar of the National Alliance of People’s Movements.
Giving instances how FRA is being “undermined”, the memorandum said, in Jharkhand, the BJP government went “so far as to launched a brazen attack on protection given to the tribal land, individual as well as community, by amending Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act.”
The memorandum said, while this “created fissures between the tribals and non-tribals leading to social unrest”, when tribals protested againt the government move, seven tribals were killed in police firing in Hazaribagh, Ramgarh and Khunti districts of Jharkhand between August and October 2016.
“Across the country”, the memorandum said, “Forest dwelling community continue to face eviction from forests, be it Gujars in Rajaji National Park, or tribals/other communities from Kaziranga National Park, or those form different reserved forest areas of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.”
“There is a systematic attempt being made at nullifying the rights of the gram sabha in Himachal Pradesh and Chattisgarh”, the memorandum said, adding, in these two states governments have been issuing “guidelines in complete violation of the Act and your Ministry has remained mute witness to that.”
Then, said the memorandum, there is “threat of displacement” looming large over forest dwelling communities be it in the “submergence zones of dams on Narmada river in Central India” and “Polavaram dam in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Orissa.”
Asking the Government of India to constitute a national review and monitoring committee to prepare a white paper based on nationwide review of implementation of FRA, the memorandum said, the government must immediately undertake “investigation into massive rejections in some states, which are as high as 80% of the claims.”
Asking the minister to “halt all diversion of forestland for non-forest purposes without settling the rights of the communities as per the provisions of the FRA”, the memorandum said, the government should also stop “any evictions from the forests, reserve areas, national parks, buffer zones etc. without settling the claims under FRA.”

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Idea of fair, tall, customized baby "rooted" in Nazi Germany, RSS' Golwalkar wanted crossbreeding with Brahmins

By Our Representative
Facts have come to light suggesting that the RSS’ experiment to have “fair”, “tall” and “customized” baby has an interesting Gujarat connection: It was first reportedly floated by its topmost ideologue Guru Golwalkar way back in 1960 while giving a lecture in Gujarat University.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.