Adivasis on dharna in H.D. Kote demanding rehabilitation

In a bid to draw the attention of the State government towards their long-pending demands, adivasis of Mysuru district are on an indefinite dharna in Kakanakote forest of H.D. Kote taluk.

The dharna, which entered the seventh day on Tuesday, is to press the government to settle the tribal forest rights issue on priority. Sreekanth of Development through Education (DEED), an NGO working for tribal rights, said a petition highlighting their charter of demands was mailed to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary on Tuesday.

“We also want the State government to hold a Cabinet meeting either in H.D. Kote or in Hunsur tribal areas to gain the confidence of tribal people,” he said.

The tribals are staging the dharna at D.B. Kuppe Gram Panchayat office in support of their demands and so far only Mysuru Zilla Panchayat president Nayeema Sultana has responded. “But the demands pertaining to implementation of the Forest Rights Act and rehabilitation of the displaced tribal people are beyond the scope of the zilla panchayat and hence we want the State government to intervene,” said Mr. Sreekanth.

Meanwhile, the charter of demands mailed to the Chief Minister seeks immediate rehabilitation of 3,418 tribals who were displaced from Nagarahole after it was declared as a national park. Though the committee set up as per the directions of the High Court of Karnataka submitted a report calling for rehabilitation of the displaced tribals, the government has failed to act on it, according to members of the tribal community. Though nearly 6,000 tribals had submitted applications under the Forest Rights Act to claim their rights to access forest and minor forest produce besides other privileges, the government rejected them in a majority of the cases in violation of the law, the tribals allege.

The government was also bound to allot 10 acres of land as part of the rehabilitation programme for each family displaced, but this has been ignored, according to DEED.

The agitating tribals also want 12 hamlets to be declared as forest villages. The other demands include steps to shore up the quality of education imparted in ashram schools meant for tribal children, release ₹2 lakh as seed money for each SHG run by tribal women, and earmark funds under a separate category for the welfare of the adivasis or forest-dwelling communities.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:15:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/adivasis-on-dharna-in-hd-kote-demanding-rehabilitation/article25720521.ece

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