Skip to main content

Eviction notice to Kol tribals of Madhya Pradesh's Rewa district warns: Your houses would be razed within two days

A Kol tribal family of Rewa district
By Our Representative
Members of the tribal Kol family – Siyadulari, Lalmani, Baramdin and Badori, belonging to Kheraha village of Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh – have approached the district collector, Rewa, telling him that they have been threatened by local officials that their huts would be razed to the ground if they do not vacate their houses “immediately.”
Written on June 1, 2017, the letter, a copy of which has been forwarded to Counterview, says that they and their children have “no other place to go and live in the severe summer heat and the monsoon rains that would follow soon”.
Local sources say, this tribal family is not alone. The grassroots organization Rewanchal Dalit Adivasi Seva Samiti, which has taken up the tribals’ cause, has said that there are at least five villages in the district – Kheraha, Chhipiya, Viduraha, Jiraua and Kota – where the local administration has threatened displacement of tribals.
“They have been told that if they do not vacate, their houses would be razed within two days’ time”, says Rakesh Malaviya, a local journalist, adding, “There are in all 480 families in these five villages, which have been told to move out of their houses, lest their houses would be razed with the help of JBC machines.”
Another local organization, Samaj Chetna Adhikar Manch’s Ram Naresh says, what is particularly strange is, the displacement of Kheraha has been threatened despite the fact the village was established as late as 2010. The tribals who came and began living here were all landless, and the local administration seemed to cooperate.
Kol tribals: Dependent on nearby forests
Living on government land, they built huts here, and had applied for land, though a scheduled hearing for providing them land rights never took place. Meanwhile, negotiations were on with the local administration for providing them with land.
According to Ram Naresh, while the former Digvijay Singh government of Congress promised to give land to tribals and Dalits, the BJP government of Shivraj Singh Chauhan declared in 2012 that they would be provided with land rights. Chauhan further declared on April 17 this year in Rewa that the tribals would be allocated land in due course of time. “However, now, the tribals are being threatened”, he adds.
While the local administration has refused to comment on the development, it claims that houses in these have "illegally come up at several places" and would be "removed" so that the landless people were rehabilitated at one place.
The eviction threat comes amidst plans to turn Rewa district into a major power projects hub of Madhya Pradesh, causing problems to thousands of Kol tribals in the region.The tribals are dependent on the jungles for their livelihood.
Major companies setting up power projects have already bought up thousands of acres of land in the region, and there is widescale fear that, since the tribals are landless, and are living in misery, they will have to either migrate or face hunger.
It is not just the tribals who are being affected by these projects, environment of the region, too, is a victim. According to local sources, Mahua trees are being chopped in large numbers to facilitate the projects. Though living on government land, the tribals are dependent on jungles to make a living.

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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".

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.

Ahmedabad lockdown: 37% poor households didn't get ration, Dalits, Muslims worst hit

By Rajiv Shah
An authoritative survey, carried out by a group of academics and social workers, among low-income settlements in Ahmedabad during the Narendra Modi-announced Covid-19 lockdown, has said a whopping 37% of the households did not receive any free ration from the government. Of those who did receive ration (59% households), Dalits or scheduled caste (SC) and minority communities were found to be at the receiving end.

Bhima Koregaon: Demand to free all 'political' prisoners as Varavara Rao tests Covid positive

Counterview Desk
The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a network of several civil society, trade union, students and civil rights groups, has sought immediate release of veteran poet-activist Varavara Rao, who has tested Covid-19 positive. Also seeking release of all political prisoners, in a statement, CASR said, “Instead of making arrangements for immediate medical care and treatment, the Taloja Jail authorities denied him medical care.”