End in sight to tribal agitation

Cabinet agrees to their demands

December 18, 2014 10:44 am | Updated 10:44 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

Tribespeople celebrate at the protest venue in the city on Wednesday night, after the Cabinet’s decision to accept their demands.  Photo: S. Mahnisha

Tribespeople celebrate at the protest venue in the city on Wednesday night, after the Cabinet’s decision to accept their demands. Photo: S. Mahnisha

The Kerala Cabinet accepted the demands of tribespeople on Wednesday, paving the way for the settlement of their ‘stand-up’ agitation in front of the Secretariat.

After Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced the Cabinet decisions, tribal leader C.K. Janu said the strike would be withdrawn upon receiving the decisions in writing on Thursday.

The Chief Minister told the media that the government would notify 7,693 hectares of vested forests, which had been cleared by the Centre and Supreme Court, for distribution to the tribespeople. Some of the land, which had either been allocated to them under Forest Rights Act or encroached upon by others, would be replaced. Fresh clearance from the Centre would be sought for this. The tribal leaders had maintained that forests allocated under the Forest Rights Act could not be considered as allocated in lieu of their alienated land.

Panchayats with nearly 100 per cent tribal population such as Edamalakudy and Aralam would be brought under the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act. This would protect tribal land from alienation.

For evictees Mr. Chandy said 447 tribal families who had been evicted from Muthanga would be given one acre each and Rs.2.5 lakh for construction of houses. Legal aid had been given to tribespeople who faced prosecution following the Muthanga agitation for land. They would also be given assistance of Rs.1 lakh each. Cases had been withdrawn. Complaints regarding the Aralam farm and land allocated to the tribespeople there would be addressed. Pineapple cultivation in the farm would be discontinued as it attracted elephants. Besides, contactors were using pesticides.

Traditional agriculture in tribal hamlets of Attappady would be promoted through special programmes and the Integrated Tribal Development Project. A special package would be implemented for the Vedar community. Tribespeople settled in project farms would be given possession certificates following guidelines under the Forest Rights Act.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.