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Top Madhya Pradesh Adivasi rights leader externed from Burhanpur district for a year

By Our Representative 

In what is being termed as an "attack on Adivasis demanding their legal and constitutional rights in Madhya Pradesh", Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) activist Madhuri has been externed from Burhanpur district for a period of one year. "Madhuri spearheaded legal awareness campaign and was also active in the recent campaign against massive illegal forest felling in the area", JADS said in a statement.
Wondering "Why does chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan fear Adivasis asserting their rights", JADS said, Adivasis will not be suppressed by this attack on their movement, nor will the movement stop raising its voice against the atrocities enabled by MP government and its' administration.
It declared, the order of externing the activist will not only be appealed against in the High Court, the organization will lead an extensive campaign to reveal the conspiracy to repress dissenting voices opposing the destruction of Jal-Jangal-Zameen.
The statement claimed, "For the past 5 years, JADS activists and members have not only been unitedly campaigning for their rights but have also been consistently opposing illegal forest felling made possible by the connivance of Forest Department."
It added, "In the widespread forest felling that started in October 2022 resulting in the loss of trees over roughly 15,000 acres of forest land and the illegal smuggling of crores of timber -- undoubtedly aided and abetted by the administration and the state government."
Calling it an "obscene collusion", JADS said, this has been "fiercely resisted by over a thousand Adivasi women and men, who led a three-day long protest against the support given to the widespread illegal forest felling by the MP Government".
JADS emphasized, "Felling at such a scale is impossible without the implicit support of the State government. It is pertinent to note that the Forest Minister of MP hails from the adjoining district of Khandwa, not far from the site of mass felling."
The statement accused the State government for unleashing a "wave of repression since April 2023, arresting Adivasi activists leading the movement, maligning their image by making baseless accusations against them, even going as far to try and illegally evict eligible claimants under the Forest Rights Act, because they highlighted and complained against the administrations' role in the widespread illegal tree felling over the past 6 months."
Pointing out that "now they have externed Madhuri for a period one year from Burhanpur district", JADS said, the forest department in Burhanpur has been attempting to illegally evict forest rights claimants for years, while turning a blind eye to illegal felling that was being carried out right under their noses" amidst "brazen disregard the department has for the Forest Rights Act."
"Thanks to the department and an enabling and apathetic administration about 10,000 forest rights claims remain pending in the district, and Adivasis continue to be criminalized for simply farming on lands they have been living on for generations", it asserted.

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