Chhattisgarh Government Evicts 25 Tribal Villages from Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary amdist Protests

Reported by

Eleonora Fanari

Published on

August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017

Updated on

August 22, 2017

Location of Conflict

Barnawapara

Mahasamund

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

(

Tiger Reserve

)

People Affected by Conflict

8000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

24500

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

In Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, the administration displaced three tribal villages between 2010 and 2014. The sanctuary, located in Mahasamund district, had 25 villages within the reserved area, where the majority of the households belonged to the Kond, Saura and Binjhwar tribes and the Scheduled Caste. The families have been protesting since 2008 against their forceful relocation without compensation or rehabilitation packages.  Reportedly, the displacements happened under the garb of protecting the wildlife, for which the state had partially utilised the Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds.  In 2010, the state government decided to relocate all the villages in the 245square kilometre area of the sanctuary. In the first phase, the administration relocated Rampur, Latadadar and Nawapara villages, which affected 374 families. The environment ministry released funds to aid the relocation process, but according to a 2014 news report, there were discrepancies in fund utilisation.  Also, while the government claimed in the 2013 State Assembly that the relocation of the affected families was complete and they had access to basic amenities and social welfare schemes, the families argued otherwise. Ground reports showed that the forest dwellers did not receive proper rehabilitation and compensation they were entitled to under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.  In January 2013, the State Assembly decided to relocate Bafra, Gundagarh, Mudpaar, Bhimauri, Dheba and Akaltaraare villages in the second phase. But the relocation is not yet complete.  According to a 2018 factfinding report, the families relocated from Rampur to Srirampur village did not have access to social welfare schemes. They claimed that the officials had promised them land allocation, but there were differences in the final allocation. They also claimed that the newly allocated land was difficult to cultivate. According to the report, the state has also failed to settle the community forest rights (CFR) claims. The factfinding report further stated that the families in Rampur who had refused to relocate faced threats and intimidation by forest officials.  Over the years, the relocated families have raised their concerns several times with the block and district administration, but their issues remain unaddressed. In October 2017, the residents of the remaining 22 villages decided to launch a protest against the relocation plan under the banner of Dalit Adivasi Manch. They also demanded the settlement of their CFR claims first.  On January 18, 2018, according to local testimonies, forest officials physically assaulted and abused a resident of Rampur village and his family for refusing to relocate. He was arrested and detained for 10 days. In protest, from January 25, the villagers organised an indefinite sitin demanding state action against attempts of forceful evacuation and instances of intimidation and casteism. They called off their protest in February after the subdivisional magistrate of Kasdol block intervened and verbally accepted the protesters memorandum of demands. In the same month, Dalit Adivasi Manch filed a petition with the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes demanding to stop the forceful eviction of the Scheduled Tribe community from the sanctuary. The villagers have reportedly reapplied for CFR entitlements with the support of their respective panchayats. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Refusal to give up land for the project

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for promised land

Demand for promised compensation

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?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Central/State Government Policy, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
Section 19 [When the state government declares any forest area as a sanctuary, the collector shall inquire into the nature and extent of rights of any persons over the land]; Section 24 [If a claim over the land is allowed, it may be acquired subject to the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(a) [The right to hold and live on forestland under individual or common occupation for habitation shall be a forest right]; Section 3(1)(e) [Community rights of habitation for primitive tribal groups shall be a forest right]; Section 3(1)(h) [The right of conversion of a forest village to a revenue village shall be a forest right]; Section 4 [The Union government shall vest forest rights in all forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]; Section 4(2) [No forest rights holders shall be resettled or have their rights adversely affected unless proper rehabilitation packages have been provided and the free and informed consent of the Gram Sabha in the areas of resettlement has been obtained]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(1)(g) [Whoever wrongfully dispossesses a member of a Scheduled Tribe from his land or destroys the crops shall be punishable with imprisonment and a fine]; Section 3(1)(z) [Whoever forces or causes a member of a Scheduled Tribe to leave his house, village or place of residence shall be punishable with imprisonment and a fine]
No. F 7-97/Rehab Policy/07, Ideal Rehabilitation Policy 2007 of State of Chhattisgarh (as amended), Chhattisgarh State Government, May 15, 2008
Clause 8 [In addition to compensation, all displaced persons shall be entitled to common basic facilities and priority in the schemes of the state government]
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016
Section 5 and 6 [These sections lay down the manner in which the CAMPA national and state funds shall be disbursed]
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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.

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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?

Applications to claim the recognition of community forest rights were submitted under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

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:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Yes

Reported Details of the Violation:

Forest officials allegedly physically assaulted and abused a resident of Rampur village and his family for refusing to relocate. He was arrested and detained for 10 days. A fact-finding report also stated that the families in Rampur who had refused to relocate faced threats and intimidation by forest officials.

Date of Violation

January 18, 2018

Location of Violation

Rampur village

Nature of Protest

Development of a network or collective

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest Department, Kasdol Block Administration

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:

Dalit Adivasi Manch

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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