Kerala

AGM to launch indefinite agitation

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Demands justice for tribespeople involved in Muthanga stir

A group of tribespeople under the aegis of the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha (AGM) is preparing to launch a series of agitations in protest against the alleged denial of justice to tribespeople who had been involved in the Muthanga agitation.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, AGM coordinator M. Geethanandan said the trial in the case related to the murder of a policeman in connection with the Muthanga agitation began at the district and sessions court in the district last week, but justice was being denied to the landless tribespeople involved in the agitation.

Mr. Geethanandan termed the trial as arbitrary. Though the National Human Rights Commission had directed the State government to probe instances of human rights violations in connection with the agitation and police action, including the death of Jogi, a protester, it was sabotaged.

Six forest and police cases were charged against as many as 650 tribespeople, including women, who were involved in the agitation.

The police had set fire to nearly 800 huts erected by agitators on forest land and manhandled nearly 700 protesters, including women and children, in connection with the agitation. But no case was charged against them, he said.

Forest rights

Though tribespeople under the aegis of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had also erected huts on forest land in many parts of the district during the period, no action was taken against them and instead they were provided land under the Forest Rights Act later. But, the landless tribespeople who erected huts on a piece of forest land in Muthanga forest range, where the former British government had granted them forest rights, were evicted mercilessly, Mr. Geethanandan said

The successive governments, political leaders, police, executive and judiciary had shown an anti-tribal approach, he said. The police action was intended to protect the vested interests of a former forest minister, he added.

The organisation would launch a series of protests, including a fast in front of the District Collectorate, against the anti-tribal policies, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:56:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/agm-to-launch-indefinite-agitation/article22921152.ece

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