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 for legal recognition of land rights, Complaint against procedural violations, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources
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
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:
Non-implementation/violation of the FRA, Violation of free prior informed consent, Non-implementation/violation of the PESA
Out of Court
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
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?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict: