Stop eviction of lakhs of tribal families: Brinda Karat tells Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 13, 2019 Published on September 13, 2019

‘Not defending Forest Act is not coincidence but connivance’

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has written to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar urging him to stop the eviction of lakhs of tribal families, who have been ‘wrongfully denied their rights’ under the Forests Rights Act.

Drawing the Minister’s attention to an ongoing petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Forest Rights Act, she said the Environment Ministry, despite being the main respondent, is not sending a senior legal representative to defend the law. “Yesterday (Thursday), while taking up the case, the Court specifically asked whether the Solicitor General was present, but he was conspicuous by his absence. There was no one to argue against the fresh applications moved by the petitioners against the interests of lakhs of tribal communities who are forest dwellers,” she said in the letter.

Citing the February orders of the Supreme Court for the eviction of tribal families, she said that insecurity and vulnerability haunts tribal communities.

‘Senior counsel missing’

“On that crucial date, too, the Solicitor General and, indeed, all senior counsel were missing. You will understand why after yesterday’s court hearing, there is uneasiness that the absence of top law officials is not coincidence but connivance.

“This feeling gets strengthened when it is known that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs had specifically written to the people concerned to ensure the presence of the SG,” she said.

“The next date of hearing is fixed for November 26. I hope you will personally give it some attention so as to take corrective measures,” she added.

Published on September 13, 2019
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