Conflict Over Delay in Giving Land Titles in South Gujarat

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Published on

February 19, 2017

February 19, 2017

Updated on

February 19, 2017

Location of Conflict

Tapi

Tapi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

682

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2011

State

Gujarat

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

Tribal communities of villages in Tapi and Valsad districts of South Gujarat plan to take legal recourse as the Forest Department has been very slow in examining the land title claims filed by them under the Forest Rights Act. Forest department admitted in a Government Resolution, issued on November 24, 2016, that there has been slow progress in measuring the land under the possession of tribes, but blamed the tribal communities for the delay. In a February 2017 meeting held in Gandhinagar secretariat, the state tribal secretary also blamed the communities for the delay. He was quoted as saying "there has been strong opposition from the local people of Tapi and Valsad districts" to the demarcations decided by the state agency carrying out the job. However, 142 claimants say that their applications have been rejected despite the provision of necessary proof. The rejected claims show that the official wordings for all rejections are identical for each of the 142 official letters sent to tribal farmers. These 142 households, whose claims were pending since 2011, were open to appeal in a court against this enmass rejection. Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha (AKSM) leader Romel Sutariya announced to carry out a land rights campaign with support from Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. This issue is not specific to Tapi and Valsad districts; it is rampant in Gujarat. On February 7, 2018, three individuals from the Dalit community submitted a letter to the district collector of Patan, threatening to selfimmolate if a piece of government land allotted to them was not regularised. A week later, Bhanubhai Vankar, a 61yearold Dalit activist delivered on his promise on 15th February 2018, a day after setting himself ablaze outside the collector's office in Patan. Vankar's death triggered protests in various parts of Gujarat including Patan, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Junagadh, Banaskantha, and Surendranagar. On June 24, 2019, Mevani, along with representatives of several land rights organisations, met Governor O.P. Kohli regarding the issue. He stated that the governor had assured them that he would take necessary steps in the matter. However, the government did not release any statement. The demands remain unfulfilled.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1) (Right of forest dwellers to hold and live in forest land); Section 4(3) (Forest land to be vested to forest dwellers who occupied the land before 13th December, 2005);
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 3 [Provisions in the Constitution of India relating to Panchayats to be extended to Scheduled Areas]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007
Rule 12A(10) [Reasons to be furnished in writing by the sub-divisional level committee for rejection of recognition of forest rights] Rule 13 (Documents admissible as evidence for determination of Forest Rights);
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  4. 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.

  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.

    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.

  6. 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.

  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?

The tribal community were claiming land titles under the Forest Rights Act of 2006. They were objecting the arbitrary rejection of their applications for land titles. The Forest Department rejected the applications on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been produced in support of the applications. They also claimed that officials of the forest department were not allowed to enter the tribal lands for the purpose of measurement, which was causing inordinate delays in processing the applications.

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Gujarat

Case Number

Writ Petition (PIL) No. 159 of 2020 with Writ Petition (PIL) No. 160 of 2020

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

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?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha , Eklavya Sangathan, Centre for Social Justice

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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