Chhattisgarh Forest Department Fences Land Claimed for Community Rights Without Gram Sabha Consent

Reported by

Asha Verma

Published on

October 21, 2017

October 21, 2017

Updated on

October 21, 2017

Location of Conflict

Arjuni, Ganjadih villages

Baloda Bazar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Plantations

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1018

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

109

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In 2015, the residents of Arjuni and Ganjadih villages in Baloda Bazar district filed claims for community forest rights (CFR) titles under the Forests Rights Act (FRA), 2006, for 109 hectares of forestland based on visual mapping. But the claims remained pending with the District Level Committee (DLC) for over five years.  In the same year, the forest department fenced the entire 109 hectares without seeking the consent of the Gram Sabha. For this, they used funds from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority. The villagers alleged that the department fenced the land to show the area under reserve forest. According to them, this would extend the forest boundaries and allow the DLC to justify rejecting the CFR claims.  The villagers approached the Forest Range Office to voice their concerns. In response, the forest department agreed to open a gate to allow the villagers to access the fenced area. But the tribespeople were not satisfied as their access to the forestland would still be limited. Therefore, they planned to remove the fencing after receiving their CFR titles.  In Arjuni village, the forest department also fenced the cremation ground already granted to the community under Section 3(2) of the FRA. The villagers claim to have lost access to the ground, due to which they have had to resort to cremating their dead by the riverside. They have raised the issue of losing rights to their entitled land with the district collector and have flagged their concerns during a statelevel grievance redressal session under the Gram Suraj programme.  In July 2021, Benipuri Goswami, a local activist, told LCW that CFR titles have been granted to the two villages, but the communities were yet to receive any formal documents.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1) [This section recognises the various individual and community forest rights of the forest-dwelling communities]; Section 4(1) [The Union government shall vest all forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]; Section 4(5) [No member of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes shall be evicted until the recognition and verification process is complete]; Section 6(1) [The Gram Sabha shall be the first authority to determine the nature and extent of individual or community forest rights]; Section 7 [Offences of contravening any provision of the Act by any authority or officer liable to be proceeded against and punished]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007
Rule 12(B)(3) [The District Level Committee shall ensure that the forest rights of protection and management of community forest resources are recognised in all villages and titles are issued to the forest dwellers]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(e)(i) [The Gram Sabha shall approve all plans and programmes taken up for implementation at the village level]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2(4) [State government empowered to allow the use of forestland for non-forest purposes without prior permission from Union government for the purpose of afforestation]
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016
Section 6 [Provides the manner in which the state CAMPA fund shall be disbursed]
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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.

  5. 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.

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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.

  7. 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.

    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

Yes

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

Claims for recognition of community forest rights were filed under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

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)

Case Number

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department

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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Edited By

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