Skip to main content

Most of forest land titles given in Odisha are "not verified on the ground", may lead to serious conflicts in future

By Our Representative
Thousands of adivasis and forest dwellers from across Odisha, mostly from tribal regions, marched in a protest rally on September 28 under the banner of Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, at Lower PMG, Bhubaneswar, raising concern over “anti-tribal” and “anti-forest dweller” laws like Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 (commonly known as CAMPA) and Draft National Forest Policies 2018.
Demanding that they be repealed, Gopinath Majhi, state CSD convener said, “Such policies are the organized conspiracy of the Central government to take away forest rights of the forest dwellers, recognized under historic Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006”., adding, “It is regretted that even after 10 years of FRA implementation in the state, community rights recognition has been very poor due to obstacles and challenges created by the State Forest Department.”
Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Green Nobel prize, addressing the rally, lambasted the Government of Odisha for its “anti-tribal” policies, saying, “While the state government claims to be No 1 in issuing highest individual titles in the country, the reality is that most of these titles are not verified on the ground, which may lead to serious conflicts in future.”
He called upon the state government “to immediately correct them in the presence of members of Gram Sabhas by pursing ground verification.”
Attacking the Modi government, Pradeep Sahu, senior CSD member, said, “All the tribals and forest dwellers of the country are watching the anti-tribal policy of the Central government and they will definitely teach a lesson to it in the next general elections, to be held in 2019.”
The protest rally was followed by a public meeting at Lower PMG presided by Narendra Mohanty, core body members of CSD. Among those who addressed the public meeting included Anna Kujjur, Suresh Panigrahi, Karmi Besra, Balraju Gemel, Trilochan Punji, Radhakanta Sethi, Akhya Pani, Sala Marndi, Lochan Bariha, Bijaya Upaddhyay, Pradipta Nayak, Kamal Saimajhi, Sandeep Pattnayak, Bijay Swain, Biranchi Bariha and others.
At the end of the programme, a of delegation from CSD met and submitted memorandum to the Odisha governor and the chief secretary, demanding that the “anti-environment and anti-people” Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016” should be repealed, as it seeks to reverse the forest rights recognised under FRA, 2006.
The memorandum said, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) should withdraw the guidelines (F.No.11-423/2011- FC, of 8 Nov. 2017) for creating “land banks” from revenue and degraded forest land to raise compensatory afforestation, adding, the state government should refrain from bypassing the “authority” of gram sabhas in FRA.
The memorandum further sought withdrawal of “anti-conservation and anti-tribal” draft National Forest Policy, 2018, proposed by MoEFCC, pointing out, “It is anti-FRA and anti-environment, it would destroy India’s forests, which would be handed over to private companies for management.”
Seeking the withdrawal of March 28, 2017 order of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the memorandum alleged, it has been “illegally issued to subvert FRA in the tiger habitat, forcing eviction of adivasis from their ancestral land.”
Asking the governemnt to “stop diversion of rich biodiversity areas for development projects such as mines, industry, dams, etc to avoid destruction of wildlife habitats and increase human-animal conflicts:, the memorandum said, strict penal action should be taken against officials creating “illegal obstruction in exercise of forest dwellers' rights over minor forest produce (MFP).”
Other demands included dissolution of joint forest management committees, mandatory approval of gram sabha for any forestry activities within community forest resource areas of gram sabhas, recognition of individual forest rights of of other traditional forest dwellers (OTFDs), and so on.

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.