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

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.