They seek ITDA help after their huts are allegedly set afire by Forest personnel

Following the alleged destruction of their huts, including five that were set afire, by Forest department personnel at Mothey tribal habitation in Burgumpadu mandal of Andhra Pradesh, the displaced migrant Adivasis have been running from pillar to post in search of dwellings.

Around 40 families of internally displaced tribal community were rendered homeless following an alleged demolition drive conducted by the officials to evict them from the reserve forest area at Mothey village on Tuesday. The migrant Adivasis, originally hailing from the bordering areas of Chhattisgarh, have been protesting the alleged torching of some of their huts by the forest staff during the demolition drive.

Leaving their women and children under the open sky in the forest fringes, the family heads were knocking at the doors of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Bhadrachalam, on Wednesday for help.

A delegation of the tribals, headed by activist Midiam Ramanamma called on ITDA Project Officer Praveen Kumar and apprised him of the misery that the displaced Adivasis were facing after losing their homes.

Around 40 families of the internally displaced Adivasis fled their homes in Chhattisgarh several years ago, unable to cope with the volatile conditions in the State owing to the police-Maoist conflict there. “They have been living at Mothey for the past eight years, but they do not know where to go after forest personnel destroyed their huts on Tuesday”, Ms. Ramanamma told The Hindu.

When contacted, Palvancha Divisional Forest Officer B. Saidulu denied the allegation that the huts of the Adivasis were torched. “Our personnel went there to remove the encroachments on the reserve forest land,” he said.