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Order staying FRA in tiger reserves violates tribal rights: Brinda

CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat.  

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the withdrawal of a Central order to tiger range States not to confer forest rights to any tribal or forest dwelling communities in “critical tiger habitats”.

“In absence (of) guidelines for notification of critical wildlife habitats, no rights shall be conferred in Critical Tiger Habitats which is duly notified under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972,” Ms Karat quoted the order issued by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Ministry of Environment and Forests, as saying.

‘Illegal’

This, she added, is an “illegal” order and against the provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006. She said the order, which has wide ranging consequences, has not been put up on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and is a “surreptitious move”.

“Under the Forest Rights Act, where the rights of tribals and other forest dwellers are defined, it is stated that these rights are applicable to all forest areas. There are no exceptions. The said order on the other hand illegally wants to make an exception of tribal rights in areas which are designated as critical tiger habitats,” her letter said. “In sum, the NTCA’s order is grossly illegal. Any officer of the State or Central government who obstructs the recognition of forest rights in this manner is committing a criminal offence under the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Forest Rights Act and should be prosecuted. This open contempt for laws that provide some protection for the rights of millions of tribals and forest dwellers is unprecedented.”


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 12:12:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/order-staying-fra-in-tiger-reserves-violates-tribal-rights-brinda/article17994085.ece

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