Gond Tribe in Chhattisgarh Oppose Jawartara Power Sub-station, Allege No Consent Taken

Reported by

Riddhi Pandey

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017

Updated on

January 2, 2017

Location of Conflict

Jawartara village

Kanker

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Transmission Lines

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

650

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4

ha

Starting Year

2014

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Power

Residents of Jawartara village, part of Kantagaon Gram Sabha in Kanker district, claim that the state government had illegally acquired 3.93 hectares of land in 2014. According to a local news report, the government allocated this land to the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board for constructing a 132/33 kV power substation.  The villagers registered strong opposition to this. Jawartara, primarily inhabited by Gond tribespeople, is a Schedule V area, and the residents see the land allocation as a violation of their rights. According to a local daily, the community members claim it to be common land and use it as a burial ground and school playground. There's also a shrine dedicated to the tribe's deity, Burha Deo.  Since 2014, the residents of Jawartara had been protesting before state and district authorities to stop the project. They wrote to various authorities demanding action against the proposal and submitted requests to the panchayat to organise a Gram Sabha for passing a resolution against the project as well as to hold public meetings. Reportedly, the villagers staged protests outside the office of the District Collector as well as the block tehsildar. However, their actions failed to persuade the authorities to act against the project. Meanwhile, the construction work had already started.  In 2016, the villagers filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the High Court of Chhattisgarh. The residents claimed that the land was acquired without the necessary consent of the Gram Sabha.  On December 7, 2016, the high court ordered the commissioner of Bastar division and the district collector to visit and inspect the site of the dispute and explore alternatives. The court also demanded a report within six weeks. On December 26, the villagers put up tents near the substation and organised a protest. They demanded the administration to invalidate the consent given by the Gram Sabha on July 23, 2013, and requested to shift the power substation to an alternate location.  Based on the high court directive, the commissioner and district collector, alongwith other officials, visited the village for an inspection. They explained to the Gond tribe members that the site was chosen after careful consideration and that the substation was necessary to solve the electricity shortage in the area. However, the tribespeople threatened to continue protesting until the administration agreed to follow the correct procedure for acquiring their consent. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Refusal to give up land for the project

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?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(e)(i) [Programmes and projects for social and economic development to be approved by the Gram Sabha]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(1)(v) [Offence of wrongful dispossession of a member of Scheduled Tribe from their land or premises]; Section 3(1)(xv) [Offence of forcing a member of Scheduled Tribe to leave their house, village or other place of residence]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3 [Rights of forest-dwelling Schedule Tribes, including entitlement over land]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 41 [In case of acquisition of land in any Scheduled Area, the prior consent of the Gram Sabha shall be obtained]
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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.

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-implmentation/violation of PESA

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Violation of free prior informed consent

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Lack of legal protection over land rights

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)

High Court of Chhattisgarh

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Blockades

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Kanker district administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board

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:

Gondwana Samaj

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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