J&K Forest Department Destroys Fencing, Houses of 10 Gujjar Families in Shopian

Reported by

Rabiya Bashir

Published on

November 26, 2021

November 26, 2021

Updated on

November 26, 2021

Location of Conflict

Tragpathri

Shopian

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1

ha

Starting Year

2021

State

Jammu and Kashmir

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

On May 24, 2021, a team of forest officials allegedly destroyed the fencing and temporary sheds built by 10 Gujjar families in Shopians Tragpathri, around 60 kilometres south of Srinagar. The officials told the media that they had sent an eviction notice to the community in October 2020. The drive was initiated following a press conference in Shopian by political leader Javid Ahmad Qadri, who alleged that the nomadic Gujjars had encroached upon forestland. The officials claimed that a section of the Gujjars had themselves informed the forest department about the fencing as it was obstructing their grazing. When we reached Tragpathri to remove the fencing, a large number of Gujjars attacked and assaulted us, a forest official told the media. Along with six journalists, several forest department officials, including the range officer, sustained injuries and they were reportedly held hostage by the nomads for about an hour before the police came to their rescue. The Gujjars, meanwhile, denied that the forest department had served them an eviction notice and counteralleged that it was the community who was subjected to beating and assault. Gujjar leader Zahid Parwaz Choudhary told the media that no one was taken hostage by the Gujjars. He explained that forest officials had assaulted a woman and tried to burn her house which is when people intervened and a confrontation took place. Javed Rahi, chairperson of the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, told LCW that the eviction drive targeted a particular community and was illegal. Tribespeople and other forest dwellers have the right to graze as per the Forest Rights Act, 2006." He added that lakhs of tribals depend on forest resources and that such drives can push them towards poverty and starvation at large. District Forest Officer Mohammad Ayoub told LCW that the forest department is not against any community but that it will retrieve all occupied land from encroachers in Jammu and Kashmir. Shopian deputy commissioner was unavailable for comments.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Complaint against procedural violations

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?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section (3)(1)(g) [Wrongful dispossession of a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe from his land or interference with the enjoyment of his rights over any land will constitute an offence under the Act and is liable for punishment]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 2(a) [Community Forest Resource defined to be customary forestland to which community had traditional access]; Section 3 [Forest rights of forest-dwelling tribes to include right of ownership, access to collect and use minor forest produce that has been traditionally collected within village boundaries. Such rights also include right to in situ rehabilitation, including alternative land, if traditional forest-dwelling tribes have been illegally evicted or displaced from forestland]; Section 4(5) [Forest-dwelling tribes may not be evicted from occupied forestland before registration and verification process is complete]
Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1988
Section 4 [Estate Officer to call upon person suspected of encroaching by a notice in writing to produce documentary within seven days of date of notice]; Section 5 [Estate Officer required to make an order of eviction with recorded reasons if the public premises are to be vacated]; Section 12 [Affected parties may appeal the order of Estate Officer under Section 5 to the District Magistrate of the district in which the public premises are situated within 12 days of publication of the order]
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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

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:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Scheduled Tribe status or lack of status

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

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:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Forest officials alleged that the Gujjars attacked and assaulted them and held them hostage for an hour before they were rescued by the police.

Date of Violation

May 24, 2021

Location of Violation

Tragpathri, Shopian

Nature of Protest

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

District Forest Officer Mohammad Ayoub told LCW that the forest department is not against any community but that it will retrieve all occupied land from encroachers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

District Forest Officer Mohammad Ayoub told LCW that the forest department is not against any community but that it will retrieve all occupied land from encroachers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

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

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
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