KARNATAKA

Tribal sangha warns of novel protest

Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: Chamarajanagara Zilla Budakattu Girijanara Abhivrudhi Sangha has urged Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to take action against Forest officials who are allegedly tormenting the tribal people who collect minor forest products for their livelihood.

In a memorandum submitted to Mr. Yeddurappa on Friday, the sangha president Konuregowda and secretary Sanna Made Gowda have cautioned that they will launch a unique protest of selling minor forest products on the premises of office of the Deputy Commissioner, Chamarajanagar, if the Chief Minister failed to take action against erring officials on June 20.

Ban

They said that over 45,000 tribal people of the Soliga, Jenu Kuruba and Kadu Kurba tribes, who have settled in the four taluks of the district, had been subsisting by collecting and selling minor forest products for centuries. However, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests had banned the collection in Biligiriranganabetta Wild Life Sanctuary on February 23, 2004.

It had become difficult for the tribal people to make ends meet because of the ban. Without employment, they were forced to migrate to neighbouring States in search of livelihood.

The previous coalition government had failed to sort out the issue despite protests from the tribal community, they said. Even former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had done nothing even hough theye were appraised of the situation, they added.

Forest officials recently raided the houses of tribal people of Yelandur division, K. Gudi region and Kanneri Colony, and took away fruits and honey collected by them.

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