(English) Eviction of traditional dwellers in forests opposed in India

(English) December 17, 2012

The members of Karnataka Rajya Moola Budakattugala Okkuta staged a protest against the eviction of forest dwellers who have been residing inside the forest, for generations, in front of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Mangalore on Monday.

The protesters shouted slogans against the eviction of the traditional forest dwellers. Addressing the protesters, Federation Vice-President M Sundar said that that the authorities should issue title deeds for the forest dwellers.

The applications submitted by the traditional forest dwellers under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, should be considered and their land holdings should be regularised.

He said that an attempt is being made to woo the forest dwellers to come out of the forest by paying compensation. “The tribals should not be evicted at any cost. The forest dwellers should be allowed to collect forest produce, to eke out their living. The government should give us the right of the land as per the Act,” he said.

The traditional dwellers of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu, Chikmagalur, Mysore have staged a protest.

He said “the forest department should stop harassing the forest dwellers while collecting forest produce. The officials have filed several cases against the forest dwellers. An attempt is being made to weaken Forest Rights Act, to help the rich,” he accused.

He said that the police should probe into the death of Geetha Koraga, a ninth standard student at Madavu in Puttur. She was found dead last year. However, the police have been stating that it was a suicide.

“We urge the government to probe into the case and punish the culprits. The death of Mahadeva Babu Siddi at Beeragadde in Uttara Kannada district should be probed. The government should provide compensation to the family of Geetha, he said.

A memorandum was submitted to Deputy Commissioner to be submitted to the government on the occasion. Okkutta district committee president Shashikala, Ramanath Siddhi of Yallapura and others were present.


Source: Deccan Herald

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