More than 10,000 Dalits Demand Rights over Common Grazing Land in Maharashtra

Reported by

Researcher

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

August 7, 2018

August 7, 2018

Updated on

August 7, 2018

Location of Conflict

Osmanabad

Beed, Nanded, Latur, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Aurangabad

Osmanabad

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

10920

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

18632

ha

Starting Year

1955

State

Maharashtra

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

Dalit families in Marathwada continue to demand regularisation of land rights for common grazing land that they have been traditionally cultivating. Vishwanath Todkar, director of Prayay, a nonprofit supporting the movement, told LCW that according to a survey conducted in 2018, approximately 10,920 people in the region are cultivating 18,631.62 hectares of common grazing land in four districts Osmanabad, Parbhani, Beed and Nanded. The Jamin Adhikar Andolan was started in the 1990s to support the Dalits' movement. However, the practice of cultivating common grazing land and demands for private land titles date further back. During the preIndependence period, the then colonial rulers had conferred the grazing land to Dalits, as per a report. Since then, cultivating the land has been a way to reduce the socioeconomic vulnerabilities that the community is subjected to, to attain resources and to challenge the monopoly of upper caste on land and other crucial resources as well as to assert their right to have a dignified status in society. Community leaders also say that conferring formal cultivation rights will help in better management of land resources in the droughtprone region. Two resolutions passed by the Maharashtra government in December 1978 and November 1991 directed the state authorities to provide the members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, nomadic tribes, Vimukta Jati and the Nav Bauddha community with land titles for the land in their possession, amongst other guidelines. However, according to a writ petition filed in 2010, the concerned authorities have failed to successfully implement the two resolutions, highlighting the resistance of uppercaste communities, inactive state authorities, transference of land to the forest department for afforestation and land privatisation as the reasons for the delay in implementation. The writ petition also highlighted instances of Dalit families cultivating common grazing land being harassed by the upper caste and forced to give up the land. According to the petition, until April 1990, 84,230 families were collectively in possession of over 1,08,915.54 hectares of grazing/fallow land, however, Todkar stated that the movement has been reduced to 30 per cent of its early reach in terms of land and people affected. He also noted that the NGOs involved and concerned families are refraining from filing a court case or seeking any legal aid due to the government's emphasis on increasing forested area, for which large parts of land have been diverted to the forest department by the revenue department. Meanwhile, as of 2019, the families continue to demand legal recognition of their land rights.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

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 and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (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

Land Ceiling Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961
Section 27(4): [50 per cent of the surplus land will be reserved for distribution to landless persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes]
Government Resolution No. LEN-I078/3483-GI, Government of Maharashtra, Agriculture and Forests Department dated December 27, 1978
Section 2(i)(a): [Members of Schedules Castes are eligible for regularisation]
Government Order, Revenue and Forest Department dated December 27, 1978
Land titles will be given to those who can prove encroachment for at least one year before April 14, 1990
Maharashtra Land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971
Rule 43: [District Collector empowered to grant occupancy rights over encroached land to the encroacher]
Government Order, Revenue and Forest Department dated November 28, 1991
Lays down measures to curb the encroachment of barren and grazing land
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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.

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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:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-implementation of land reform laws

Delay in allottment and possession of land/property

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 Bombay

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)

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue and 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:

Paryay

Resources Related to Conflict

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

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