Chhattisgarh Revenue Department Demolishes Homes of Tribespeople to Build Cow Shelter

Reported by

Deepika JoshiLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Rainpur village, Pali block

,

Korba

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

29

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3

ha

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In June 2019, a group of officials, comprising members of the panchayat and revenue department and two policemen, reached Rainpur village with a JCB to demolish six houses, including one built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. They demolished the houses without any notice, Hem Singh Markam, who lost his house, told LCW. Another villager informed LCW that while the police was threatening the residents, the officials started the demolition drive, claiming that the land is sarkari zameen (government land) and is meant for a cow shelter. The six houses belonged to people from the Gond tribe and Yadav and Chauhan communities. They say that they have been living and farming on the forestland for more than four generations. They claim to have submitted applications under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, multiple times but their applications were not processed and they did not even get acknowledgement receipts for their applications. Earlier too, in 2018, another house and farming land were allegedly destroyed by the authorities. Some of the affected people had filed a police complaint against the sarpanch (head of panchayat). They were not given a copy of the complaint either. After their houses were demolished, the six families lived in makeshift homes with tarpaulin sheets for a year, even during the monsoons. Only recently, they have made mud houses. During the demolition drive, their household goods were also damaged and foodgrains were stolen. Markam informed LCW that one of his family members lost the Transfer Certificate of 10th standard and could not get admission in school in 11th standard. When the families went to the district collectors office to protest, they were given verbal assurance that the houses would be rebuilt and that the administration would send them tarpaulin sheets, medical help and other necessary aid, but the families got no help. Only a nurse came to check on them during the monsoon season, says one of the residents. In the year following the demolition, the families have filed several police complaints and have attended multiple hearings. Our attendance is taken by the lawyer and he gives us a next date for the hearing. Nothing more happens, Markam says. In addition to them, there are currently 75 households that have not received titles for their land. A few months after the demolition, about 100 residents from the same village protested at the Pali block office, demanding receipt of their FRA applications. The block office finally gave them receipts, but their claims are yet to be processed. In October 2020, again about 100 people protested twice in front of the panchayat office, demanding receipt of their FRA application. After day-long agitations, the authorities finally handed them the receipt.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

3

ha

Starting Year

2018

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue department, Police department

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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