MP Forest Dept Relocates Over 1,000 Families from Kanha Tiger Reserve

Reported by

Gourav Jaiswal

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016

Updated on

September 14, 2016

Location of Conflict

Jholar

Balaghat

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

(

Tiger Reserve

)

People Affected by Conflict

6720

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

12700

ha

Starting Year

1970

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

The Kanha Tiger Reserve and National Park, consisting of a core area of 940 square kilometres and a buffer zone of 1,067 square kilometres, is one of the largest national parks in the state. Initially notified as a national park in 1955, it was later notified as a tiger reserve in 1973-74. The region is home to the Gond and Baiga communities.  After the park was declared a tiger reserve, approximately 24 villages had to be relocated. Evictions began in 2005 after the National Tiger Conservation Authority issued guidelines to make the core area free from human intervention. They were first shifted from the core area to the buffer zone. The last five villages were evicted in 2014-15. According to a media report, as many as 27 villages were shifted out of the core area, with no alternative arrangements in place.  In 2014, the communities were asked to vacate the buffer zone as well, this time as part of the state governments tiger conservation plan. About 450 families were evicted in June 2014. While the state government claims this move to be voluntary, the community members have opposed it. Before they were evicted, a member of the Baiga community told Survival International, They want to give us money, but we do not want money. We want land. Money does not mean anything to us. It comes and it goes. Kanha Tiger Reserve field director J.S. Chauhan refuted allegations of forceful and illegal evictions, adding that some 1,200 villagers have been relocated since 2010 with a negotiated total compensation of INR 1 million. We never did any relocation against the wishes of the villagers. Nobody can do any forcible relocation. We relocated them only after they opted for it in writing," Chauhan told the media, adding that the people were happy to be resettled Many activists and environmentalists have condemned the eviction of the indigenous families. Activists argue that the tribes are fierce protectors of the forest and, therefore, play an important role in the conservation process.  In March 2018, families from 70 different villages held protests to oppose their eviction. According to a report by Survival International, such eviction without consent is illegal under both national and international laws. They also demanded recognition of their forest rights under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. According to a report by Survival International, published in December 2019, the Wildlife Conservation Society held a training on voluntary relocation for tiger reserves for the officials of the Indian Forest Service. They have been leading the call for relocating tribal families from tiger reserves. The report points out instances where the forest department has allegedly forcefully and illegally evicted people under the garb of voluntary evictions. There have been no evictions in the area after 2014-2015. As of July 30, 2020, some families still reside in the buffer zone.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-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

Forest Rights Act of 2006

Legislations/Policies Involved

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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-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

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:

Throughout 2014-15, the forest department regularly coerced and threatened the forest dwellers to leave the forests

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh

Nature of Protest

Media-based activism/alternative media

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Madhya Pradesh Forest Department

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:

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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