Skip to main content

Eviction threat "looms large" over Odisha tribals' 1.45 lakh forest land rights claims

By Our Representative
A workshop organized jointly by the Mayurbhanj Adivasi Bikash Manch (MABM) and the Mayurbhaj Jala, Jungle, Jamin and Jana Adhikar Manch (MJJJJAM) on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and the Panchati Raj Extension to Scheduled Area (PESA) Act has been told that a total of 1,45,750 individual forest rights (IFR) claims out of 6,17,935 filed at the gram sabha level in Odisha have been rejected and are under "serious threat" after the February 13 Supreme Court (SC) eviction order.
Speaking at the seminar, Dr Manohar Chauhan of the civil rights organization, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, said, “As per the nodal Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe (STSC) Development Department, Government of Odisha by March 31, 2019 in total 6,17,935 (5,86,245 of STs and 31,690 of other traditional forest dwellers or OTFDs) IFR claims have been filed in the state at the gram sabha level. and 4,30,212 IFR titles ( 4,30,139 561 to STs and only 73 to OTFDs) have been issued over 2,60,028,752 hectares (ha) of forest land."
He added, "Likewise, by March 31, 2019, 13,826 community forest rights (CFR) claims have been filed at the gram sabha level and 6,564 CFR titles have been issued over 95,185 ha of forest land. It is also reported that in total 1,45,750 IFR claims (1,18,316 of STs and 27434 of OTFDs) have been rejected in the state, which are under serious threat after February 13 Supreme Court (SC) eviction order”.
Participated by 60 representatives from several Odisha district, Tulasi Munda, a padma shree awardee, who inaugurated, the seminar said that there is a need to bring about awareness on FRA and PESA in all the villages. She called upon all the gram sabhas to take over common property resources under their control and to resolve all conflicts and issues in the village itself so that no one would go to the jail.
Chauhan said, “While the Government of Odisha claiming to be No 1 in issuing highest number of IFR titles in the country, in most of the cases IFR titles have been issued without demarcation and are full of errors. Many IFR claims have been missed at the Sub-Divisional Level Committee (SDLC) level and are not reported, SDLC and District Level Committee (DLC) have bypassed the rights authority of the gram sabha and IFR claims of OTFDs have been ignored, recognition of community forests rights have been badly affected by the interference of the Forest Department."
Ramgalal Jamuda, former chairperson of the Odisha State Food Commission, raised concern over the February 13 Supreme Court eviction order, saying, IFR claims have been rejected across the country, adding, both the Central government and States governments to should strongly defend the FRA in the Supreme Court.
Sharing his field visit experience on FRA as chairman of the Food Commission, he said , “There are many discrepancies in the FRA data being produced by FRA DLCs and the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC), and there is an urgent need to demarcate all the forest land issued under FRA followed by Records of Rights (ROR) correction and extension of developmental programmes to the IFR title holders.”
Tushar Dash, member, Community Forest Rights Learning and Advocacy (CFRLA), shared on the process of enactment of the FRA in 2006, different rights recognized under the Act and on the forest rights recognition process. He also pointed out on the various threats to FRA under the BJP-led government at the Centre, especially from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, the Indian Forest Policy, 2018, and the proposed amendments in Indian Forest Act, 2019, which he said are contradictory to and directly violate the FRA, 2006.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.