8 Villages Refuse to be Relocated from Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand

Reported by

Nupur Sonar

Published on

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Updated on

October 7, 2019

Location of Conflict

Gopkhaad

Latehar, Latu, Kujurum, Pandra, Gutwa, Bijaypur, Henar, Ramandag

Palamu

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

Tiger Conservation

(

Tiger Reserve

)

People Affected by Conflict

3084

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

71585

ha

Starting Year

2017

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In May 2017, eight villages in the Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand received letters from the forest department proposing to relocate them outside the reserve for expansion of the core area to facilitate tiger breeding. As a result, the villages that were earlier part of the buffer zone of the reserve would now fall within the core area. To suggest that this was an urgent matter, the letter cited a Jharkhand high court order of February 2017, which concerned a public interest litigation on the decreasing tiger numbers in Palamu. Of the eight villages, Kujurum, Latu, Pandra, Gopakhar, Gutwa, Bijaypur and Henar are located in Garu block in Palamu district, and Ramandag village is located in Barwadih block in Latehar district. According to media reports, the families proposed to be relocated have been offered INR 15 lakh as compensation, which includes the cost of land for construction of a house and cost of construction as well. In August 2017, the residents of six villages in Garu block held a demonstration outside the office of the block development officer (BDO). They also wrote letters to the forest officer and the BDO, opposing the proposal to relocate them. They held more demonstrations in November and December where they opposed the move to expand the tiger reserve. According to media reports, Gopakhar village is home to the Nagesia tribe, classified as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. The tribe was displaced in the 1950s when a reservoir and a residential school were built in the Netarhat hills. Residents of all the eight villages depend on agriculture and forest produce for their livelihood. "Though the forest department says Kujurum and Latu residents want to move, we do not agree on this. We received news that Kujurum villagers refused to shift to Dubiyakhad between Daltonganj and Betla as the land there is rocky. There is a proposal to shift them to Mahuadanr block in Latehar, but there are already people living there," said Jerome Kujur in a media interview in December 2018. Kujur is the general secretary of Jan Sangharsh Samiti, a Jharkhandbased organisation fighting for people's livelihoods. There is allegedly immense pressure on two villages, Latu and Kujurum, to consent to the relocation, but the residents have refused. As of July 2021, forest officials had relocated two of the eight villages (Latu and Kujurum) which reportedly agreed for a compensation of INR 15 lakh in cash or five acres of land with basic amenities. The residents of Gopakhar village are divided on the compensation offered for the voluntary relocation.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

No items found.

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to relocate out of buffer zone

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

10.28

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 4(2)(e) [The forest rights recognised under this Act in critical wildlife habitats of national parks and sanctuaries may subsequently be modified or resettled, provided that no forest rights holders shall be resettled or have their rights in any manner affected for the purposes of creating inviolate areas for wildlife conservation except in case the free informed consent of the Gram Sabhas in the areas concerned to the proposed resettlement and to the package has been obtained in writing]
Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
Section 38V(4)(ii) [There is a buffer or peripheral area to the core tiger habitat where the livelihood and rights of the local people must be given due recognition]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jharkhand

Case Number

W.P. (PIL) No.1615 of 2013

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department, National Tiger Conservation Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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