Gond Tribespeople in Madhya Pradesh Demanding Land Titles Since 2008

Reported by

Connor Staggs

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

April 21, 2019

April 21, 2019

Updated on

April 21, 2019

Location of Conflict

Dehri Chakdhana

Betul

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

135

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4000

ha

Starting Year

2008

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

At least 135 farmers in Betul district have not received land titles despite repeated applications to the government. This is because they reside in Orange area land, where both forest and land revenue departments claim ownership over the land. Most of the farmers seeking land titles belong to the Gond and Korku communities, which have traditionally inhabited forest areas across central India.
In 2008, when Gond tribespeople living on the land demanded titles under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, both the departments rejected the applications claiming that the other department was the owner of the land. After the forest department repeatedly failed to provide them with land titles, the farmers staged a protest outside the department's district headquarters in Betul on December 12, 2017.
Earlier in 2016, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan assured the farmers of land titles during his visit to the district. "He assured us that we would get _pattas _for the land that has helped us eke out a livelihood. After having voted for their candidate, we feel cheated. There are about 200 families in the village that feel the same way,” said Pandu Singh Marshkole, a Gond resident of Betul’s Dolhara village.
The government has not met the demands of the farmers. "The only sufferers in this three-way combat are the people who have been made to shuttle between the two departments, without any result," said Anil Garg, an advocate based in Betul.
In May 2019, the state appointed a task force to settle the dispute. The task force submitted its recommendations in February 2020. The report says that all those who have received leases should receive land titles that could be processed under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. In 2020, the Gond community again applied for land rights under the FRA.

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

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 2(o) [“Other traditional forest dweller” means any member or community who has, for at least three generations prior to the 13th day of December, 2005, primarily resided in and who depend on the forests or forestland for bona fide livelihood needs]; Section 3(1)(a) [This section recognises the right of forest dwellers to hold and live on forestland under either individual or common occupation, to either live on or cultivate]; Section 3(1)(f) [This section grants to forest dwellers rights over disputed land regardless of the nature of dispute]; Section 4(1) [This section vests all forest rights in Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]; Section 4(5) [Recognition of, and vesting of, forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers - no member of a forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dweller shall be evicted or removed from forestland under his occupation till the recognition and verification procedure is complete]
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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.

    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

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 FRA

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Land record discrepancies

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

Writ Petition (Civil) No. 109/2008

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Writ Petition (Civil) No. 109/2008, Order dated February 13, 2019: This case pertains to the challenge to the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. After receiving affidavits from all states with details on which forests are affected, the Supreme Court noted that once the orders of eviction had been passed, the eviction ought to have taken place. This includes the land in dispute for this conflict. The court observed that all those forest dwellers whose claims have been rejected will be treated as “encroachers” on their own lands as they have failed to prove their rightful ownership and control over forest resources. It ordered that all households whose rights claims under the FRA have been rejected should be evicted from the forests by July 2019. Writ Petition (Civil) No. 109/2008, Order dated February 28, 2019: After widespread protests from tribal groups and a petition by the Centre, the Supreme Court temporarily stayed its own order with respect to the eviction.

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

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Forest Department, Land Revenue Department, Office of the District Magistrate, Betul

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:

Gonds and Korku tribespeople

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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