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Niyamgiri’s Dongria Kondh gird for ‘resistance’ after SC order

Fearing a threat: Dongria Kondh tribals in Kalahandi district of Odisha  

With a recent Supreme Court order triggering panic among forest dwellers over possible eviction, Odisha’s Dongria Kondh tribals have resolved to resist any attempt to force them out.

The tribe shot into the limelight for their successful resistance against the Vedanta Group’s plan to mine bauxite in the ecologically and mineral-rich Niyamgiri hill range.

The Dongria Kondh are currently holding their annual ‘Niyamraja festival’ on the picturesque hilltop of Niyamgiri.

The issue of possible eviction of tribals, whose applications for regularisation under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, had been rejected, came up for discussion at the festival.

The Dongria Kondh’s habitations dot the Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi and Rayagada districts.

As per official records of the distribution of titles under FRA, 562 claims were received from 591 households under the Kutia Kandh Development Agency, Lanjigarh. Gram Sabhas had approved all 562. However, 310 claims involving 313.80 acres were approved by the District Level Committee and certificate of titles were distributed. Under Dongria Kondh Development Agency, Chatikona and Dongria Kondh Development Agency, Parsoli, of 2,126 applications, Gram Sabhas approved 1,895. All applications were approved by DLC and certificates involving 3,088 acres of land were distributed. The rights sought by the Dongria Kondh have not been met, says Niyamgiri Surakshya Samiti, and it fears that the government might push its mining agenda in the future.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:09:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/niyamgiris-dongria-kondh-gird-for-resistance-after-sc-order/article26353627.ece

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