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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".