Thousands of tribals and forest Dwellers
Marched in a protest Rally in Bhubaneswar demanding dismissal of 13th
Feb Supreme Court’s eviction Order from Forest land.
Bhubaneswar 8th March: Thousands of tribals and
forest Dwellers under the banner of Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD),
Odisha marched on thursday in a protest Rally in Bhubaneswar demanding
dismissal of 13th Feb Supreme Court’s eviction Order from Forest
land. The Protest Rally was started from Master Canteen
at 11.00 am. with slogans “BJP Sarkar Jawab Do!”
and “BJD Sarkar Hos me Aao!, ‘Gram Sabha sarkar Zindabad!, “Supreme Court
ra 13th Feb adivasi birodhi Adesh ku radd karo”, “Abedan hoithiba
samasta jungle jami ku verification karo”etc.
protest rally, more than 7000 tribals and forest Dwellers from different
districts participated and marched in the State Capital followed by a public
meeting at Lower PMG where representatives of different Sangathans affiliated
to the CSD put forth their demands.
both the BJP Govt. at the Centre and BJD Govt. in the State
Odisha protest rally targeted both the BJP Govt. at the Centre and BJD Govt. in
the State for violating FRA, 2006 and for their anti-tribals and forest
Majhi, the State Convenor of the CSD, Odisha sharing the objective of the
protest Rally said, “Today protest rally is being organised to show the
discontent and anger amongst the tribal and forest dwellers of the State on the
13th Feb Supreme Court’s eviction Order which is the result of the lackadaisical attitude of Central
Govt. which failed to properly defend the FRA in the Supreme Court.”
“ We do not want temporary relief of 28th Feb SC
Stay order and we want complete dismissal of the 13th Feb Order.” He
Targeting the BJP Govt. at the Centre, CSD said,
“We observed that from the beginning of coming into the
power, the BJP Govt. at the Centre is working against the historic Forest
Rights Act, 2006. It brought anti-FRA, anti-tribals and forest dwellers CAMPA
fund Act, 2016, Anti-FRA-National Forest Policy, 2018 and have diverted 20,000 hectares of forest land for
no-forest uses in between 2015-2018 bypassing the gram sabha. Now the 13th
Feb 2019 Supreme Court eviction Order is an anti-tribals and forest dwellers is
because of the failure on the part of the central Govt. to defend the FRA in
Giving clarification of the implication of 13th
Feb SC eviction Order in the State, CSD said,
“Since most of 4, 22,384 IFR titles said to have been
issued in the State are issued in a haphazard manner without ground
verification leading to less area and partial recognition, along with the 1,45,
567 rejected IFR claimants, all the titles holders will also be evicted from
forest land. Besides, when eviction will start, it will also evict those who
despite their occupation over forest land for generations and have failed to file
their IFR claims till date. Thus if the 13th Feb Order of the
SC is implemented in the State there will be mass eviction of lakhs of tribal
and forest dwellers in the State”
the BJD Govt. in the State, CSD said, While the Odisha Govt. always claiming to
be No.1 in the country in issuing highest number of IFR titles, in reality it
has done a big mess of FRA implementation in the state. It has used the
“Recognition Act as land distribution scheme” and has bypassed the gram sabha
in the whole FRA implementation process”.
IFR claimant have been informed on the rejection of its claim, depriving lakh
of IFR claimants in filing appeal at the appropriate level, the Govt. officials
at the Sub-Divisional Level Committee (SDLC) have arbitrarily rejected IFR
claims of STs and OTFDs and have put all blame upon the gram sabhas in the
State. OTFDs have denied filing their IFR claims in many districts and most of
the IFR titles have been issued without ground verification. While 40, 000
villages are eligible to get community rights over forest, there is very poor
recognition of community rights in the State” CSD alleged.
“We demand let all the so-called
rejected, approved and pending IFR claims to be sent back to the concerned Gram Sabhas for reconsideration and
appropriate action as per Rule-12A(6) FRA Rules-2012” CSD demanded.
Rights Act, 2006 authorizes gram sabha as the authority of all the common
property resources including forest and thus gram sabha is the real authority
to decide on what would be done with those lands and it is not the State Govt,
nor the Central Govt. nor the Supreme Court to decide on it,” CSD held.
protest meeting was held at Lower PMG led by Gopinath Majhi, State Convener of
CSD and coordinated by state convening body member Narendra Mohanty. Before
the meeting the arrest of Lingaraj Azad,
the leader of Niyamgiri Surakshya Samiti by Kalahandi Police was condemned by
the campaign and demanded his unconditional release. The leaders of various
mass organisations as well as political leaders like Anna Kujur, Prafulla
Samantara, Karmi Besra, Janaki Nayak, Bhakta Charan Das(Ex. M.P), Radhakanta
Sethi(AIPF), Trilochan Punji, George Tirki(M.LA & Tribal leader), Lawyer
and Human Right Activist Biswapriya Kanungo, Bijay Swain, Pradeep Sahu(CSD),
Arun Jena, Narayan Reddy(Ex. M.L.A), Jagabandhu Sabar, Lakhia Sabar, Malikram
Kumbhar, Madan Hanta(OSM), Lalmohan Murmu, Kandaram Birua, Ramsingh Munda,
Amulya Swain, Mahammad Sukur, Manorama Khatua and Dr. Sricharan Behera spoke at
the protest meeting and called to participants to be unite and strengthen the struggle
for their rights against the anti-people central and state government.
It is to be noted that on 13th Feb 2019, the
Supreme Court of India giving its interim order on the case directed the Chief
Secretary of different State Governments to evict all claimants from forest
land whose IFR claims have been rejected within 27th July 2019. Thus
after this Order there is hue and cry across the country in its protest.
“Today’s protest is the part of national wide protest called
by CSD, the Campaign which struggled and played a vital role in the enactment
of the Forest Right Act by the parliament of India in 2006”. CSD, Odisha said.
end of the protest Rally, CSD, Odisha submitted memorandum to the Governor of
Odisha, Chief Minister of Odisha and to the President of India through
the Governor putting forth
the following 12 points demands;
- Dismiss the anti-tribal and anti-forest
dwellers Supreme Court Order dated13th February, 2019.
- Scrap Anti- FRA Campa Fund Act-2016 and
National Forest Policy-2018.
- Bring amendments in all acts and rules
like Bio diversities Act-2002, Wildlife Protection Act-1972, Forest
Conservation Act-1980, Indian Forest Act-1927, Coal Bearing Act-1957 and all
forest policy related to Minor Forest Produces etc. which have been main
hindrance in the implementation of FRA-2006.
- No diversion of Forest Land for Non-Forest
Activities without proposal and recognition of Gram Sabhas.
before the State Government:
- Send back all so-called rejected, approved
and pending IFR claims to the concerned Gram Sabhas, the real authority for
reconsideration and appropriate action as per Rule-12A(6) FRA Rules-2012.
- Stop correction of ROR of Forest Lands
issued without demarcation
- Stringent Action must be taken against
the Government Officials who have
discouraged and deprived Other Traditional Forest Dwellers to file their IFR in
different districts, arbitrarily documentary evidence have been prioritised and
oral evidence of elders bypassed, 629 issued IFR titles have been cancelled in
- Recognise the Community Forest Rights over
forest resources as per 3(1)(i) of FRA-2006 & respect the Forest Protection
Management Committee formed under Sec-4(e) of FRA Rules-2007 and dissolve V.S.S
form under JFM.
- Identify all forest/un-surveyed villages
falling in reserve forest area and convert them into revenue villages.
- Withdraw all forest offence cases
filed against tribal and forest dwellers using different sections of Indian
Forest Act, 1927, FCA, 1980 and WLP Act, 1972 before and after FRA- 2006.
demand Panchyat in every village, 70% quorum of the Gram Sabha, no
representation of government official in any executive body of the Gram Sabha
and direct flow of all funds to the Gram Sabhas.
demand to inform the Campaign(CSD) what
action have been taken based under the direction of Honourable Governor of
Odisha (Vide Reference Number-CN/47/2018, Memo No- 5679SG/Dated 6.10.18) to the
Chief Secretary of Odisha on the memorandum submitted by CSD, Odisha dated 28th