More outfits oppose SC’s verdict on Adivasi land issue

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2019 Published on February 22, 2019

More organisations have come in opposition against the Supreme Court order to evict about one million adivasis from their land. Farmers’ agriculture workers and tribal organisations have demanded the Centre to immediately intervene so that the adivasis do not lose right over their own land.

All India Kisan Sabha leaders Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawle said that the order “unfortunately giving legal sanction” to the historic oppression of the tribals that will perpetuate the deprivation that they have faced for time immemorial. “According to the latest figures (December 2018) of the 42.19 lakh claims, only 18.89 lakh claims have been accepted. This order could render 23.30 lakh people vulnerable to eviction from their land and forests. Evicting over two million people as their claims under the Forest Rights Act has been rejected only points to the farcical implementation of the Act which we have been highlighting,” said the leaders. The farmers’ outfit alleged that the BJP-led Centre created such a situation. “It is tantamount to declaring war on the livelihoods of the most oppressed sections. The Supreme Court unfortunately has not looked into how the Adivasis and traditional forest dwellers will continue to live without forest and land rights.” they said.

“Clearly, there seems to have been connivance with the lobbies promoting predatory tourism and the officials of the Forest Department who are against the Forest Rights Act,” they alleged. The All India Agricultural Workers Union said that it is well known that large areas of land inhabited by tribals over generations were without any documents.

“We are not surprised that a large number of those who have claimed land have been rejected. In Rajasthan alone 36,492 tribals have had their claims turned down while the number of traditional forest dwellers is only 577. In Odisha 1,22,250 tribals have had their claims rejected while only 26,620 traditional forest dwellers have been refused. This reflects that a large number of tribals in these States have had their claims rejected while only a small number of traditional forest dwellers have been refused,” said the outfit. It urged the Centre and State governments not to allow wholesale eviction of marginal people who have no other means of livelihood.

Published on February 22, 2019
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