Seeking implementation of Forest Rights Act: Adivasis protest forcible eviction from forests

Seeking implementation of Forest Rights Act: Adivasis protest forcible eviction from forests

March 21, 2023

Siddapur: Seeking the speedy implementation of the Forest Rights Act (Jamma-Paale Rights) and demanding to stop the forced eviction of Adivasis from forest areas in the name of conservation, tribals under the banner of Nagarahole Adivasi Jamma-Paale Hakku Sthapana Samiti, launched an indefinite day-and-night stir in front of the Forest Department Office at Nagarahole yesterday.

The tribals, who congregated at a Nagarahole tribal hamlet, marched to the Forest Department Office. Maintaining that aborigine forest-dwelling communities such as Jenu Kuruba, Betta Kuruba, Panjari Yerava, Pani Yerava, Soliga, Kudia etc., have been staying in forest areas for centuries, the Adivasis asserted that they have been conserving the forest and wildlife with their vast knowledge.

But some pseudo-environmentalists who joined hands with the Forest Department planned to evict the Adivasis from their homeland in order to serve their own interests and purpose, they said.

Alleging that several representations to the Government and Kodagu District Administration regarding the implementation of their rights have been ignored, they claimed that they have been abused and assaulted for raising their voice against injustice and eviction.

The protesters further said that an awareness campaign regarding the indefinite stir aimed at getting rights under the Forest Rights Act of 2006, was carried out from Mar. 15 to 19 at different tribal hamlets.

Recalling that a similar stir was launched two years ago when the then Virajpet Tahsildar had given a written assurance on addressing their grievances, they said that nothing has been done so far regarding the fulfilment of their just demands.

Their main demands include the implementation of provisions under Scheduled Tribes and other traditional Forest Dwellers Rights Act, 2006 and the amended Act of 2012; implementation of Community Rights, rights over the use of community resources, dwelling rights etc., handing over of conservation of forests and wildlife to Adivasi Gram Sabhas.

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They have demanded stopping the forced eviction of Adivasis from tribal hamlets and other tribal colonies without making any alternative arrangements; dropping false cases booked against Adivasis.

This apart, the Adivasis are demanding the declaration of Nagarahole as the 5th deemed (scheduled) tribal area and the establishment of an exclusive Tribal Panchayat and allotment of land for agricultural and residential purposes for Adivasis staying in residential quarters in forest and Government lands.


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