Skip to main content

Gujarat govt rejects 60% of tribal land claims, disallows protest rally in Ahmedabad: Tribal rights activist

A Gujarat tribal village
By Our Representative
A well-entrenched Gujarat tribal rights group, Ekalavya Sangathan, has said that the state government has so far recognized just 40.42% of the tribal claims for land out of a total of 1.83 lakh applications okayed by tribal village councils for regularizing forest land. The rest of the 59.68% “stand rejected”.
Talking with newspersons in Ahmedabad a day ahead of a rally planned for regularizing the land rights of the tribals, Paulomee Mistry, executive secretary, Ekalavya, said, as many as seven Indian states have “performed better than Gujarat” in regularizing forest for tribal and other forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
“The states where a higher percentage of tribal land rights have been recognized are Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura”, Mistry said, adding, “Now, in utter disregard of the FRA, 2016, the state government claims it has completed its job of scanning all the applicants, and it believes it does not need to do anything more.”
Mistry insisted, “While the tribals are clearly angry, in a clear signal that they are not being given the democratic space, they have not been given the permission for their proposed rally with Ekalavya support. The rally was to start at the district collector's office in Ahmedabad at 12 noon. As many as 4,000 tribals are expected to come from six districts. We will, however, hold a mass demonstration at Sardar Bagh, for which we have been given permission.”
Saying the massive rejections would force as many as 1,08,948 claimants to go into an appeal, Mistry said, “Even those who have been given land haven't yet become the legal owners. They have only received cultivation rights, and not land titles, which means that the land still belongs to the state forest or revenue department.”
Under the FRA, 2006, all the tribals and other forest dwellers who had been cultivating forest land as on December 13, 2005 would receive land ownership title. The land legally transferred to a tribal, according to the law, cannot be sold or transferred to anyone except by inheritance.
Contending that these are official figures, released by the Government of India on January 11, 2016, Mistry accused the state government of moving at an “extremely slow pace” in providing land titles. “Almost no one of the 73,921 forest dwellers. who have been given cultivation rights, have so far received the titles”, she said, adding, “Of these, 73,921 tribals,we estimate, 20 per cent are fake.”
Mistry said, “What is also appalling is that, the tribals do not know whom to appeal against the rejections, as the forest rights committees, whom they should be approaching, have still not been formed, such as in Sabarkantha district's Vadali and Idal talukas, Aravalli district's Meghraj, Malpur and Modasa talukas.”
She further said, “In Jhalod taluka of Dahod district, the state government has not even begun scanning the tribal land claims after then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's tall promises on December 31, 2003”, adding, “In Virpur and Balasinor talukas of Kheda district, forms for making forest land available have not even been distributed.”

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

India 'neglecting' air, water, vegetation as its world air quality index ranking decelerates

By Dr Gurinder Kaur* The World Air Quality Report 2023 , prepared by a Swiss technology company IQAir, was released on 19 March 2024. According to this report, India is the third most polluted country in the world after Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the capital of India, New Delhi, is the most polluted capital in the world.