Tribals start protest in Ganjam against rejection of pleas for land rights

More than 2,000 tribal people took out a march and started a protest in front of the Collectorate at Chhatrapur in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Monday against what they called the arbitrary rejection of their applications for land rights.

The protesters have been brought together by the All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, the Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha, the Ganjam Zilla Adivasi Manch and the Ganjam Zilla Gramsabha Samukhya. They said 13,851 applications for land rights under the Forest Rights Act had been cancelled in the whole of Odisha, and the number included 6,613 in Ganjam (3,346 from tribals and 2,967 from forest dwellers).

All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha national secretary Bhala Chandra Sarangi said the administration did not inform the families of the reasons for rejection of their applications.

“We demand that all cancelled applications be returned to gram sabhas for scrutiny and verification, and the administration should clear the applications approved by gram sabhas,” Ganjam Zilla Gramsabha Samukhya leader Bijay Kumar Swain said.

Their other demands are an immediate survey to recognise the habitats of forest dwellers as revenue villages; land rights to forest dwellers for agriculture and housing; and recovery of the forest land under the “illegal possession” of the rich in different regions. They are also against the auction of cashew orchards near tribal villages to non-tribals, and want the ownership of the orchards handed to the tribals.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:26:56 PM |

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